South Africa win Paris Sevens to pip Fiji for World Series

South Africa had to win the Paris Sevens in order to overhaul Fiji to retain their World Series crown

Paris (AFP) – South Africa dramatically retained their overall World Sevens Series title by beating England in the final of the last of 10 tournaments on Sunday.

The Blitzboks’ 24-14 victory in Paris ensured they overhauled Fiji in the overall standings by 182 to 180 points.

It was only their second tournament victory out of 10 in the 2017/18 season compared to Fiji’s five — including the last four in a row — but South Africa’s consistency in reaching at least the semi-finals of every event proved decisive.

England’s 19-17 victory over Fiji in the quarter-finals — thanks to a stunning winning try at the end of a 26-pass move — was crucial despite the Pacific Islanders bouncing back to claim fifth place with a 28-7 win over the United States.

In the final Werner Kok opened the scoring for the Boks before the English went ahead through scores from Oliver Lindsay-Hague and Dan Norton.

A Ryan Oosthuizen try levelled matters at 14-14 before Dewald Human got South Africa’s third and a Justin Geduld penalty secured the win.