New Zealand triumph in Adelaide
April 3, 2011
New Zealand's Frank Halai celebrates his try in his side's quarter-final win over Argentina © Getty Images
New Zealand cemented their position at the summit of the HSBC Sevens World Series standings by defeating South Africa 28-20 in the Cup Final of the Adelaide Sevens on Sunday.
Both sides scored four tries in an absorbing encounter but whereas the All Blacks' Tomasi Cama knocked over all four of his conversion attempts, Cecil Afrika didn't manage to land one - and that ultimately proved the difference between the two sides.
New Zealand had struck early in Adelaide, with Lote Raikabula dotting after just over 60 seconds of play. South Africa hit back through Chris Day only to see Cama burst through to score to put the All Blacks back in command.
However, Branco du Preez crossed with the last play of the first-half and the Boks then edged themselves 15-14 in front when Afrika dived over shortly after the interval. When Paul Delport followed Afrika over just over 30 seconds later, South Africa appeared to be closing in on the title.
The Kiwis were not be denied, though. Cama converted Frank Halai's try to put them a point to the good with six minutes to play and then sealed victory when he raced away to score his second try of the game in the closing stages.
After topping Pool A with a 100% record, New Zealand had reached the final by hammering Argentina 47-7 in the last eight before seeing off Samoa 33-17 in the semi-finals.
The Blitz Boks, meanwhile, had had to come from 12 points down to defeat Fiji 24-12 in the quarters and then booked their place in the tournament decider with an impressive 19-0 win over England, who had beaten Wales 17-12 in the last eight.
The Welsh, though, were to end the day with some silverware as they battled their way to a 14-7 victory over Argentina in the Plate Final, after having claimed a stunning 22-21 win over Fiji in the last four courtesy of two late tries from Alex Cuthbert.
Elsewhere, the United States overcame Kenya 17-10 to take the honours in the Bowl event, while Japan defeated Tonga 22-5 to claim the Shield.
The All Blacks' Cup win - their fourth of the season - means they now stand on 134 points, 13 points clear of England at the top of the overall standings, with Samoa third on 100. South Africa (92) and Fiji (90) lie fourth and fifth respectively.
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