South Africa beat Fiji 26-5 to win the Wellington leg of the Sevens World Series on Sunday.
The Blitzboks outscored Fiji by four tries to one. The contributors were Ruhan Nel, who crossed the whitewash twice, Rosko Specman and Seabelo Senatla, who scored his 180th try to become South Africa’s leading all-time try scorer and draw his country level on the stroke of half-time.
This was South Africa’s second win of the series, which has now propelled them to the top of the standings, after three rounds.
Fiji landed the first blow in the final when Joeli Lutumailagi showed a superb turn of speed before scoring the opening try, but things soon went pear-shaped for last season’s series winners when Setareki Bituniyata was sent to the bin for a high tackle on Branco du Preez.
South Africa soon took control of proceedings and a brace of tries from Ruhan Nel and further five-pointers from Seabelo Senatla and Rosko Specman secured them a deserved victory.
Blitzbokke captain Philip Snyman paid tribute to his side’s work ethic after their victory.
“We worked really hard after Christmas, and we played some great rugby this weekend,” he said.
“Thank you to the whole of Wellington, we are really grateful for the win.
“We are happy to get a first win since 2002 and it’s extra sweet after last year’s defeat in the final. Playing Fiji twice in one weekend doesn’t make it easier, but our defence system was great. Hats off to the guys and the coaching staff. It wasn’t zero tries, so definitely some work to be done before Sydney.”
South Africa’s Seabelo Senatla was the Player of the Final. Senatla, who became South Africa’s record try-scorer on the World Series, is heading off to play Super Rugby after next weekend’s Sydney event.