Any rugby fans out there? South Africa scored a major victory against Fiji in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series’ latest tournament in Las Vegas on Sunday and the country has been celebrating ever since. The odds weren’t necessarily in the South African team’s favour: Fiji is the current Olympic champion and the South African team’s star player Sebelo Senatla missed out on the big match, because he was on Super Rugby duty. Still, the Springboks were able to score their fourth tournament win of the season, with a final result of 19-12 against Fiji.
South Africa’s team has now won 4 out of 5 tournaments with 5 more to go. After winning the tournaments in Dubai, New Zealand, Australia and the United States and finishing second in their home tournament in Cape Town, the team is now leading the table with 107 points, while runner-up Fiji stands at 83 points. The Springboks had already marched through the pool stage of the Las Vegas tournament easily with clear victories against Canada (26-7), France (31-0) and Wales (21-7). After a narrow victory against Australia (17-14) in the quarter-finals and a 20-17 against the United States in the semi-finals, Olympic champion Fiji was more clearly defeated. Fiji had also been on a good run towards winning the tournament. They had beaten Australia, England and New Zealand and were able to celebrate a stunning 41-0 victory against Japan during the pool stage.
While Chris Dry, Cecil Afrika and Rosko Specman were able to score tries, it was Specman who was declared Man of the Match. He later thanked the entire team and gave a shoutout to his missing teammate Senatla. Specman and the rest of the team are now looking forward to the next tournament in Vancouver, where they can expect milder weather conditions than in Sam Boys Stadium under the bright Las Vegas sun.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series was first introduced in the season of 1999/2000 and has been played annually since then. So far, South Africa has only been able to win the series once in 2008/2009 but the team has been fairly successful in the last four years, always finishing in second place. This time around they seem to have a good shot at finally winning the big trophy again.