The Springboks Sevens conceded a last-minute try in their 17-14 Plate final defeat to Australia while England lifted the Cup on day two of the Dubai Sevens.
England downed France 29-12 in the title decider, which confirmed their second consecutive Dubai Cup success. But for the Blitzboks, it was a disappointing end to their campaign in Dubai after a impressive run on day one, which saw them top Pool B and record a famous win over defending World Series champions New Zealand. It was the Blitzboks’ worst tournament finish since their run at the Wellington leg in 2010, where they lost 26-12 to Fiji in the Plate final.
Against Australia, South Africa started strongly and claimed a converted try from the first attacking move. Chris Dry was the scorer, after playing a key role in winning possession from the kickoff. Aussie youngster Lewis Holland levelled matters before Branco du Preez capitalised on a Boom Prinsloo break to secure a 14-5 lead at half-time.
But the Blitzboks were errant in the second stanza, and the Aussies won the ascendancy and scored two tries through Hamish Angus and Holland. The latter score was a runaway try from the Aussies’ 22m area as South Africa slipped two tackles in the final movement of the match.
Earlier in the day, the Springboks Sevens beat Wales 22-7 in the Plate semi-final.
It was an easy win over the 2009 World Cup winners. It was a Grey College connection that secured a 12-0 half-time lead as Boom Prinsloo set up Robert Ebersohn for the first try before putting through William Small-Smith moments later.
Renfred Dazel and Branco du Preez both dived in at the right corner to complete the victory, while Wales managed to grab a late try through Owen Williams.
In their first match of the day, the Springbok Sevens’ title run came to an abrupt end with a 19-5 Cup quarter-final defeat to France.
France scored all the points in the first stanza, with Manoel Dall crossing the line shortly before the break. Renaud Delmas and Terry Bouhraoua sealed the match with second half tries as South Africa could only dot down for a consolation score via Bernado Botha.
Blitbzoks’ fixtures and results, day two:
Cup quarter-final: South Africa 5 France 19
Plate semi-final: South Africa 22 Wales 7
Plate final: South Africa 14 Australia 17