BIG WIN IN WELLINGTON
Blitzboks settle in as best team on circuit
Wing Seabelo Senatla became SA’s all-time leading try-scorer as the Blitzboks won the Wellington leg of the World Sevens Series for the second time.
SA won the final 26-5 against reigning World Series and Olympic champions Fiji to consolidate their place at the top of the overall standings.
After 18 competitive matches in the 2016-17 season‚ the Blitzboks have won 17 and are without question the best team on circuit.
The overall series title is theirs to lose from this position.
Victory in Wellington was SA’s second tournament success of the season after winning round one in Dubai.
The Blitzboks were runners-up in Cape Town in round two and now lead the World Series on 63 points with Fiji second on 51 and England third on 49.
Once again defence was the key for SA as they only conceded four tries in six matches.
Senatla scored eight tries at the weekend to move to 180 tries in his career‚ surpassing the 179 held by Fabian Juries.
He will play in Sydney next week before leaving the circuit to join the Stormers for the 2017 Super Rugby campaign.
"I’m going to miss the sevens‚ but I’m not going away forever‚" Senatla said.
The flyer suffered an unusual fate in the final for him when Fijian wing Joeli Lutumailagi beat him for pace on the outside to open the scoring.
Senatla predictably bounced back and scored SA’s first try.
There were further tries from Rosko Specman and Ruhan Nel (2) as SA took the Wellington title for the first time since 2002.
"I got burned‚ which doesn’t happen very often‚ but I kept calm and worked hard afterwards‚" Senatla said. But he was humble about the victory.
"We’re not that good‚ we’re just average players putting our bodies on the line for each other," he said.
SA were drawn in a tough Pool B with Fiji‚ Japan and Australia but won all three matches comfortably. Japan were dismissed 33-0‚ Australia 28-0 and Fiji lost the pool match 31-12.
In the quarterfinals the Blitzboks thrashed France 45-0 and then clinically dispatched surprise package Canada 31-5 in the semifinal.
"We worked really hard after Christmas and we played some really great rugby this weekend‚" the Blitzboks captain Philip Snyman said.
"It was extra sweet after losing the final in the dying seconds last year [the Blitzboks lost to New Zealand in 2016].
"Playing Fiji twice in one weekend is difficult‚ but we were in their face with our defence‚ which has been the key for us."