The Cape Town Sevens are done and dusted. England upset hosts South Africa in a magnificent final closing the gap on the Blitzboks in the leaderboard. Throughout the weekend, seven players stood out and made it into the World Rugby Sevens Series Dream Team:
New Zealand took their first tournament win of 2017 after beating Argentina 38-14 in Cape Town to go top of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings.
The All Blacks Sevens made up for their Cup final loss in Dubai last weekend with a clinical display in front of a sold-out Cape Town Stadium. Two tries from HSBC Player of the Final Joe Ravouvou combined with scores from Vilimoni Koroi, Tim Mikkelson, Regan Ware and Sione Molia to help head coach Clark Laidlaw's side to victory over an Argentina side chasing their first Cup win since San Diego in 2009."I'm so proud of how the boys played this weekend and last weekend," said captain Scott Curry. "It could have gone either way after we lost our first pool match against USA yesterday but day two is another day. We started fresh and really worked for each other and that’s what won it for us. We’ll look forward to our home tournament in Hamilton coming up soon – it’s a new city and they really love their rugby there."Hosts South Africa were knocked out 19-12 in the Cup semi-final by New Zealand yet finished strongly in third after beating Canada 19-17 in the bronze final. New Zealand are now two points clear of South Africa in the overall HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2018 standings with eight stops remaining. The teams will regroup in Sydney on 26-28 January.
South Africa went into this match as favourites having beaten New Zealand in the final in Dubai but the All Blacks Sevens had other plans. Blitzboks captain Philip Snyman scored early on after handing off the New Zealand defence on the right wing. Joe Ravouvou received a yellow card in the process for a late tackle, putting New Zealand down to six men. However, shortly after Tim Mikkelson found himself going under the posts after the South Africa defence was found napping. Cecil Afrika scrambled over the line for the hosts before half-time to make it 12-7 at the break.
In the second half New Zealand star Vilimoni Koroi got his side right back into it with a brilliant 75m break to score, with Afrika not even being able to catch him. Ravouvou made up for his earlier mistake by making a powerful run down the right wing and looked set to score before Rosko Specman came in with a strong tackle. With the ball loose Joe Webber got his hands on it and put New Zealand ahead 19-12.
The Blitzboks had one more chance to take the win but Tim Agaba knocked on after a flat pass came too hot to handle.
A star on day two, Connor Braid started Canada off with a great break before offloading to Pat Kay for the first score of the match. Marcos Moroni got Argentina back into the game after pulling in three defenders before offloading to Santiago Alvarez for the try.
Braid was at it once again, picking up the ball in the Argentina half, then making a huge arcing run to split the defence and score. Canada looked in control at this stage, but the tables turned quickly when Rodrigo Etchart showed a clean pair of heels to score. The conversion, from Lautaro Bazan Velez, proved to be absolutely crucial.
South Africa were under pressure from the outset at their home tournament after Fiji went 0-14 up within two minutes. A yellow card for Seabelo Senatla for a high tackle left them down to six men as Fiji capitalised on every mistake made by the Blitzboks. Werner Kok settled nerves after scoring a nice solo effort down the left wing, but immediately Fiji were back in the game as Josua Vakurunabili handed off Senatla on the right wing and helped Fiji to a 21-5 lead. South Africa then scored one of the tries of the tournament as Kwagga Smith, Tim Agaba and Justin Geduld linked up to run the length of the pitch. 12-21 to Fiji at half-time.
In the second half, Cecil Afrika unleashed a huge 30m pass to Senatla who ran in a try to make it 17-21 after the kick was missed by by Afrika. Kalione Nasoko dampened Blitzboks' hopes once more though, breaking through the line and running half the pitch to go under the posts, making it 17-26. Smith once again showed his true class, slicing down the right wing and dotting down under the sticks. With the kick good, just two points separated the sides. A Fiji attack was stunted on the right wing and the ball eventually ripped out, which was scooped up by Senatla to score his second and secure a thrilling win.
A loose NFL style pass from Sam Dickson gave England an early scrum five metres out after the ball eventually went dead behing New Zealand's posts. The ball made its way to Ruaridh McConnochie who went over from close range and gave England the lead. The All Blacks Sevens went straight back deep into England's half with some beautiful interlinking play, scoring eventually through Andrew Knewstubb.
England led 7-5 at half-time, and extended their lead through McConnochie once more in the second half. New Zealand attacked down the right wing, with Joe Ravouvou and Dylan Collier linking up, Collier going over for the score. At 12-10, a yellow card for Tom Mitchell for a high tackle opened up the space, and the All Blacks Sevens exploited this with Ravouvou finishing off in the left corner.
Connor Braid gave Canada the perfect start as he sped down the right wing, offloading to Pat Kay who turned and popped the ball to Mike Fuailefau to score. Nate Hirayama, in his 55th tournament, jinked and stepped through three French defenders to score and converted to make it 14-0. Justin Douglas, lethal on day one of the tournament, went into top gear down the left wing to add to the score and make it 21-0 at half-time.
Braid kicked things off in the second half with a try straight from the restart and then Matt Mullins added a score of his own to make it 35-0. France's only try came from Johan Demai-Hamecher late in the game as Damian McGrath's team took a convincing win.
Franco Sabato and Lautaro Bazan Velez both scored within the first three minutes to pile the pressure on Mike Friday's USA side, who went unbeaten on day one of the tournament. At 14-0 going into the second half, Santiago Gomez Cora's Argentina outfit turned up the skill level once more as Conrado Roura added another try. A long range run from Stephen Tomasin and score from Folau Niua made it 21-12 with seconds to go, but Argentina closed out the game thanks to Luciano Gonzalez.
Cape Town Sevens 2017 | Results
World Sevens Series | Standings
Pic: World Rugby
Hosts South Africa, Fiji, New Zealand and Scotland stayed unbeaten to top their respective pools at the end of day one at the second round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Cape Town.
The Cup quarter-finals sees defending champions South Africa take on Wales, Scotland come face to face with the USA, Fiji meet England and the All Blacks will play Kenya.
After last week’s Dubai Sevens, the Blitzboks will be looking to defend their HSBC Cape Town Sevens title on day two and increase their lead at the top of the series standings after the opening two rounds.
History was made today when speedster Dan Norton became England's top scorer and powerhouse James Rodwell the countries most capped player.
First Rodwell became the most-capped England sevens player with a 71st tournament appearance before Norton scored his 220th, 221st and 22nd tries to become the all-time leading try scorer for England.
Taking over from Ben Gollings (220), Norton also moved into third on the all-time list behind Collins Injera (235) and Santiago Gomez Cora (230). England opened with a 33-10 win over Canada before Norton scored a brace in their 19-14 win over Argentina.
After a disappointing start to the new season in Dubai, New Zealand looked an improved side today, beating Argentina 26-12 before Canada came from 14-0 behind to draw 19-19 against the All Blacks Sevens. However, a 33-7 win against England in the final pool match secured the top position for New Zealand after day one.
Tomorrow the Cape Town Sevens continue at 10:36am local time.
12:04 | South Africa v Wales
12:26 | New Zealand v Kenya
12:48 | Scotland v USA
13:10 | Fiji v England
Cape Town Sevens | Results Day 1
Cape Town Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
England won their first Cup title since Tokyo 2015 with a 19-17 win over hosts South Africa. At the Cape Town Sevens, Simon Amor’s team just secured the win despite a last minute try by Werner Kok and a yellow card for record breaker Dan Norton. However, a missed conversion by Justin Geduld ensured the victory on late Sunday afternoon.
England captain Tom Mitchell said: “It was a tough tournament, to back up last weekend in Dubai, but I am so proud of the boys. We trained all summer and this makes it all worth it. We were a bit disappointed last weekend and we wanted to put it right. It’s been a bumpy road, but it always is. It was a pleasure to play in this stadium.”
In a gripping final, Blitzbok Chris Dry scored the first try of the match before Richard de Carpentier hit back immediately to give England a 7-5 lead. Dan Norton added another try to make the scores 12-5 at half-time.
In the second half Rosko Specman, scored again for South Africa, but HSBC player of the final Ruaridh McConochie gave England another lead.
Norton’s yellow card allowed South Africa once more to find a gap in the defence but the missed conversion gave England the win.
England close the gap on series leaders South Africa, finishing the first two rounds on 39, two behind South Africa but ahead of Fiji (32), Scotland and New Zealand (both 27).
Earlier in the semi-finals England beat Scotland 33-14, while South Africa overcame New Zealand 14-7. The All Blacks Sevens finished the day with a 24-19 win against Scotland in the Bronze final.
The next round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series takes place in Wellington, New Zealand on 28 and 29 January, 2017.
Cape Town Sevens | Results Day 2
Wellington Sevens | Draws and Schedule
Text, Picture and Video: World Rugby
South Africa, New Zealand, France, Ireland and Kenya finished the pool stages of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens 2019 unbeaten to march into the Cup quarter-finals in style.
Koroi’s score came with New Zealand and South Africa deadlocked at 21-21, with the All Blacks Sevens needing to win to make Sunday’s Cup quarter-finals in Cape Town.
A pair of tries from Kalione Nasoko and Vilimoni Botitu helped Fiji beat USA 29-15 in the Cup final in Cape Town and secure their first HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series victory in South Africa since 2005.
It was Fiji's first final since 2009 and completed a fantastic weekend — in which they remained unbeaten — by defeating the United States.
Nasoko opened the scoring with a solo run after some excellent Fiji defending, before they were handed two gift tries. First Botitu got between a Madison Hughes pass and was free to run from deep in his own half, and then Perry Baker fumbled a one-handed play for Sevuloni Mocenacagi to capitalise.
Ngarohi McGarvey-Black's try saw New Zealand come from behind to beat South Africa 7-5 in the HSBC Cape Town Sevens 2019 final on Sunday and claim their 11th Cup title in the country in HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series history.
Following a thrilling start to the new World Sevens Series in Dubai last weekend, the teams are back in action just seven days later at the Cape Town Sevens.
The Cape Town Sevens take place at the Cape Town Stadium (Capacity 55,000) on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th of December.
The matches kick-off on Saturday at 10:15 local time (08:15 UK time) and Sunday 10:36 local time (08:30 UK time).
See the full day 1 fixture below.
In the UK Sky Sports will cover the tournament on all days. For a full TV guide click here, for any other country check out this handy guide.
Dubai Sevens winner South Africa and runners-up Fiji were the outstanding teams of the opening round. Especially South Africa seems to be in top form and with the home support this weekend, the Blitzboks might be off with the perfect start to the 2016/2017 season securing 2/2 wins.
England’s speedster Dan Norton leads the DHL Performance Tracker. The 28-year old impressed in Dubai last weekend and with the all-time top try scorer crown in prospect, the former Hartpury student will be keen to continue his strong start.
South Africa, Australia, USA, Russia
Fiji, France, Kenya, Japan
England, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada
Wales, Scotland, Samoa, Uganda
Saturday, December 10 (Kick-off is local time)
Scotland v Samoa – 10:15
Wales v Uganda – 10:37
New Zealand v Argentina – 10:59
England v Canada – 11:21
France v Kenya – 11:43
Fiji v Japan – 12:05
Australia v USA – 12:27
South Africa v Russia – 12:49
Scotland v Uganda – 13:36
Wales v Samoa – 13:58
New Zealand v Canada – 14:20
England v Argentina – 14:42
France v Japan – 15:04
Fiji v Kenya – 15:26
Australia v Russia – 15:48
South Africa v USA – 16:10
Samoa v Uganda – 16:57
Wales v Scotland – 17:19
Argentina v Canada – 17:41
England v New Zealand – 18:03
Kenya v Japan – 18:50
Fiji v France – 19:12
USA v Russia – 19:34
South Africa v Australia – 19:56
Pictures and Videos: World Rugby
Following last weekend’s Dubai Sevens, the 7s year has come to an end for the women’s teams, however, the 15 core men’s sides plus Zimbabwe will enjoy one more blast before closing in on yet another eventful and record-breaking 12 months.
A 19-17 win over South Africa in the final of the Cape Town Sevens, was just enough for England to win the tournament. With a last minute try by Werner Kok and a yellow card for Dan Norton the game was a close affair up to the end. However, a missed conversion by Justin Geduld eventually ensured the first Cup since Tokyo 2015. Richard de Carpentier and record breaker Dan Norton scored for England after Blitzbok Chris Dry took his team into an early lead.
England close the gap on series leaders South Africa, finishing the first two rounds on 39, two behind South Africa but ahead of Fiji (32), Scotland and New Zelaand (both 27).
England’s speedster Dan Norton surpassed Ben Gollings' record to become England Sevens' leading try-scorer. Norton scored twice against Canada on the opening day of the Cape Town Sevens which were his 221st and 222nd tries, two more than previous top-scorer Ben Golling.
In the all-time sevens series stats, the former Hartpury and Bristol Rugby winger sits behind Kenyan Collins Injera (235pts) and Santiago Gomez Cora from Argentina (230pts).
James Rodwell became England’s most capped player this weekend. The 32-year old earned his 71st tournament cap on day 1 of the Cape Town Sevens.
Last season he made history by playing in a record 69th consecutive World Rugby Sevens Series tournament - surpassing South African Frankie Horne’s record of 68.
#CapeTown7s | Historic moment during this morning's match against Canada as @james_rodwell5 becomes #England7s' most capped player of all time ?? #rugby #rugbygram @capetown7s A photo posted by England Rugby (@englandrugby) on Dec 10, 2016 at 1:59am PST
#CapeTown7s | Historic moment during this morning's match against Canada as @james_rodwell5 becomes #England7s' most capped player of all time ?? #rugby #rugbygram @capetown7s
A photo posted by England Rugby (@englandrugby) on Dec 10, 2016 at 1:59am PST
Rodwell broke the previous record of England Sevens legend Ben Gollings who finished his career on 70 tournament caps. The forward said: "It is pretty surreal that I’m still playing and have overtaken him.
Since Ben Ryan quit his job as Fijian head coach, the Englishman is regularly linked to other exciting roles in 7s as well as 15s. Ryan’s latest potential career move might be a position with the British and Irish Lions, as the Telegraph reported this week. Lions coach Warren Gatland introduced Steve Borthwick, Andy Farrell and Rob Howley as part of the coaching team for next year’s tour to New Zealand. However, Gatland might add another candidate to strengthen the backroom staff. Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend has been linked as the first choice backs coach, but since the perspective Scotland coach ruled himself out it might be Ben Ryan who joins the tourists.
Springbok and Toulon star Bryan Habana spoke in an interview with CNN about his recent Sevens experience. The record try scorer has been left out from the Olympic squad this summer and is now focussing on is 15s career again.
He told CNN: "My respect for sevens and for the individuals involved grew astronomically, given the way they train, the time they put in to being able to develop the game". The 33-year old mentioned how amazed he is by the growth of the game: "I think sevens is just so much different to the 15-man game... so much can happen within a 14-minute period. I think the popularity of it really has grown"
At the first tournament of the season, the South African “Blitzbokke” won the trophy after beating Olympic Gold medallists Fiji 26-14 in the final.
Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez, Seabelo Senatla and HSBC player of the final Chris Dry scored for South Africa. A try each by Fijian captain Osea Kolinisau and Jerry Tuwai levelled the score, but wasn’t enough to beat the Boks.
England finished the tournament in third position after they beat rivals Wales 33-10. The USA won the Challenge Trophy with a 28-14 win over Samoa.
Full story and highlights
The New Zealand women’s team faced arch-rivals Autralia in the final of the Dubai Sevens 2017. A try by Portia Woodman and two from Rebekah Cordero-Tufuga were enough to seal a 17-5 win.
In the newly introduced Challenge Trophy (former Bowl competition), Spain took on Ireland in a tense affair. Tries from Megan Williams and Lucy Mulhall, helped them to snatch a 14-12 win.
The next round of the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series will take place on 3rd and 4th of February in Sydney.
Dubai Sevens Women's | Results
The annual Dubai Sevens is not just a gathering of the world’s best international teams but also a great opportunity for amateur teams around the world to come together and compete in a large number of competitions.
In the International Invitation Men’s tournament the ROYALS beat the SA 7s ACADEMY 17-7, while the Australian side TRIBE 7s beat IRELAND 28-33 in the Bronze final.
In the final of the International Open Men’s event QUATAR won against TITAN ACADEMY 24-14 and PROJECTX WATERBOYS beat SPERANZA 26-19 in the Plate final.
The SAMURAI ladies team beat BELGIUM 31-19 in the final of the International Invitation women’s tournament, while the TRIBE 7’s WOMEN team won the Bronze final against KENYA LIONESS 17-12.
For all results click here
As the Dubai Sevens came to an end last Saturday, the HSBC Sevens Series already continues next weekend in South Africa. The Cape Town Sevens will mark the second stage of the series and the last tournament of a remarkable year for 7s.
The pools for the Cape Town Sevens are as follows:
Pool A | SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, USA, RUSSIA
Pool B | FIJI, FRANCE, KENYA, JAPAN
Pool C | ENGLAND, NEW ZEALAND, ARGENTINA, CANADA
Pool D | WALES, SCOTLAND, SAMOA, UGANDA
Cape Town Sevens fixture list
New Zealand born Warwick Lahmert has left the England Sevens programme to return home. The 29-year-old joined England in 2015 and made his 7s debut in Wellington before playing a further seven tournaments. At his final cap in Paris in May, he captained the team.
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