AP NEWS

Payback as NZ beats South Africa in Cape Town Sevens final

December 15, 2019 GMT

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — New Zealand repaid South Africa by winning the Cape Town Sevens rugby final 7-5 on Sunday, a week after it was blanked by the South Africans in the Dubai final.

South Africa took the Dubai final 15-0, and maintained the big defensive effort in the home final of the second leg of the world sevens series through a scoreless first half as New Zealand dominated possession.

Justin Geduld then put South Africa ahead with a try from a scrum and some luck.

But two minutes later, Tone Ng Shiu worked the ball to the South Africa tryline and Ngarohi McGarvey-Black crossed. Akuila Rokolisoa converted and New Zealand held out for the last minute.

“It doesn’t get much better,” New Zealand captain Scott Curry said. “Playing South Africa at their home ground, 50,000 fans roaring, it’s hard not to get inspired by that, even for a Kiwi.”

The Kiwis have been inspired for decades, having won the South African title for the 11th time in 21 tournaments.

They beat Scotland 35-19 in the quarterfinals and Fiji 24-7 in the semifinals.

South Africa beat eventual third-place team France 21-14 in the semis.

The series resumes on Jan. 25-26 in Hamilton, New Zealand.

New Zealand’s men completed the double, after the women won their final against Australia 17-7.