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.