Boks party in Paris
28 May 2006
The Springboks smashed Samoa 33-12 in the Paris Sevens final on Sunday to claim their first title of the season and secure the bronze medal in the IRB Sevens Series.
The Boks opened the scoring in the first minute when Western Province’s Gio Aplon darted his way through the Samoan defence and sent Stormers wing Ryno Benjamin away for the try. However, the Islanders responded with a try soon afterwards from Simaika Mikaele to make it 7-all.
Benjamin then ran in his second try after good work from Aplon and Danwell Demas to give the Boks at 14-7 lead at half-time.
The South Africans moved further ahead a minute after the break when Benjamin forced a crucial turnover inside the Samoan 22 that resulted in a deserved try for Aplon.
With the clock ticking down, the Boks starved the Samoans of possession and sealed the win when Demas cut back inside and scored their fourth try.
Mikaele Senio scored a consolation try for the Samoans with a minute to go, before WP scrumhalf Paul Delport ran the length of the field to cap off a memorable win.
Earlier in the day, the Boks crushed hosts France 33-12 in the semi-finals. They swept aside New Zealand in the quarter-finals, but even that result stood a poor second in Paris as home team France stunned Fiji.
Series leader Fiji, rampant on day one, were the shock losers by a point to the French. The French won 22-21 in a result that ranks among their greatest in the shortened version of the game.
The Sevens Boks, beaten by Samoa in the pool stages, won 26-19 against a New Zealand team that had been undefeated on day one.
In a day of more surprises Australia smashed England 29-17 and Samoa proved too strong for the Pumas.
No Fiji, no England and no New Zealand in the last four is something few would have predicted because it has never happened in the history of the IRB Sevens series.
It will now come down to next weekend’s final event in London to determine which of Fiji or England claim a first series title. New Zealand, previously, had won six titles in succession.