Dragons fire in Dubai

Wales edged Argentina 19-12 in the final of the World Cup Sevens on Saturday.

The Dragons entered the tournament as 80-1 outsiders, but beat New Zealand and Samoa on their way to claiming the Melrose Cup.

Richie Pugh opened the scoring for Wales in the final, before Martin Rodriguez scored for Argentina and then slotted the difficult conversion.

The Pumas should have gone further ahead a minute later but knocked on with the tryline in sight. Tal Selley then scored Wales’ second try to give them a 12-7 lead, with Argentina blowing another opportunity just before half-time.

The second half saw plenty of aimless kicking, before Gonzalo Camacho went over in the right-hand corner to level the scores. But Aled Thomas’s try with three minutes to go sealed the win for Wales.

Earlier in the day, a late two-try surge secured Argentina a 14-12 victory over South Africa.

The Boks struck early through a try by captain Mpho Mbiyozo, and with the Pumas giving away numerous penalties, the South Africans were firmly in control. The referee eventually yellow-carded one of the Argentinians at a crucial period before half-time.

The Boks failed to make their one-man advantage tell with Mbiyozo receiving his marching orders right before the break. Fortunately for South Africa, the Pumas also failed to cash in during Mbiyozo’s absence.

Robert Ebersohn won the race to a loose ball and offloaded smartly to Rayno Benjamin. With the conversion, the Boks looked to be out of sight at 12-0.

Argentina clawed one back and an incredible conversion from a difficult angle narrowed the deficit. With two minutes to play, they exploited an overlap and rounded the goal posts. One final South African attack was culled when Paul Delport spilled the ball forward.

By Jon Cardinelli & Simon Borchardt

Cup results:
Quarter-finals
Wales 15 New Zealand 14
Samoa 31 England 26
Argentina 14 South Africa 12
Kenya 26 Fiji 7
Semi-finals
Wales 19 Samoa 12
Argentina 12 Kenya 0
Final
Wales 19 Argentina 12

* Australia edged New Zealand 15-10 in the first-ever Women’s World Cup Sevens final, after beating South Africa 19-10 in the semi-finals.