S World Rugby
South Africa wins Paris 7s, overall season title
By Patrick Korir | Sun 10 Jun, 2018 20:31

South Africa avoided complicated mathematics by hitting England 24-14 to lift Paris 7s title on Sunday 10 June, and in doing so went on to wrest the overall  2017/18 HSBC World Seven's Series title.

Fiji, leaders heading to Paris 7s after winning four straight titles in Vancouver, Hong Kong, Singapore and London 7s, won the fifth place crown with a 28-7 blitz of USA to keep slim chances of the ultimate title afloat.

14-14 at half time

To win it they needed England, who denied them a place in the Cup semis with a 19-17 win at the quarters,  to beat South Africa to second place in the final. 

It was not to be as Blitzbokke claimed the game to retain the Series title they had won in the 2016/17 season. They tied England 14-14 at half time. A converted try by Dewald Human - later named player of the final, in the second half and penalty by Justin Geduld confirmed the two titles for the Southern boys.

A spectacular Werner Kok converted try had Blitzbokke up 7-0 but two from England's Oliver Lindsay-Hague and the master of the game Dan Norton, both under the posts - and converted, had England up 14-7. An English error allowed forward Ryan Oosthuizen to barge over at the corner, Geduld adding the conversion to tie things up heading to the break.

"It’s been a fantastic experience here in Paris. I backed myself and just enjoyed every minute on the field. We stuck to the game plan and are very happy with the win." said final MVP Human

His captain Philip Snyman added: "We wanted to go out and play some fantastic rugby and focus on what we could control. The guys played phenomenal rugby and all credit to the team. We just did the simple stuff and played with smiles on our faces today. It’s an amazing feeling representing such an amazing country and the people back home never stopped believing in us and supporting us." 

Fiercest since 2007

The contest for the overall title was the fiercest since 2007 when New Zealand and Fiji both had a chance to win it heading to the eighth and final round in Edinburgh, Scotland. Then Fiji had a ten point lead over the All blacks but went on to best become second with 128 points after they managed only eight points as New Zealand grabbed the full 20 to clinch the overall title with 130 points. 

It was Déjà vu for Fiji, comparative to the 2007 season, as they also lost the Series title by two points having led South Africa by seven points coming to Paris. 

South Africa won it with 182 points, just two ahead of second placed Fiji. New Zealand was third with 150 points, Australia fourth with 123 - one ahead of fifth place England. USA ended with with 117 points, Argentina seventh with 105 and Kenya eight with 104 points. 

Bronze for New Zealand 

For a place in the final South Africa had beaten New Zealand 24-14 as England nailed Canada 26-12. 

In the precursor to the final, New Zealand nailed Bronze after going past Canada 38-5.

While Fiji took the fifth place title, Argentina took home the challenge Trophy with a 33-26 win over Wales while Kenya won the 13th place final by beating Scotland 21-20.

Patrick Korir
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