South Africa secure IRB Sevens crown
May 30, 2009
Mpho Mbiyozo celebrates victory over New Zealand © Getty Images
South Africa clinched the IRB Sevens World Series by booking their place in the quarter-finals of the Edinburgh Sevens at Murrayfield. Paul Treu's men guaranteed a four-point haul by reaching the last eight and required only one to seal their first Series title.
The Sevens Boks secured their passage with three wins on day one 33-10 over France, 34-5 over the USA and finally a satisfying 14-12 win over eight-time Series champions New Zealand. They will now face Australia in the next round, the men in green and gold qualifying alongside Fiji from their pool. The Fijians will face New Zealand next, the two previous Series winners going head to head.
"It's an unbelievable feeling for me, I can can only imagine how the players are feeling," said Treu."I don't think the guys even realise what they've achieved as a team. Maybe when they're 30 years old or sitting at home when they're old and looking back on their careers, this is definitely going to be one of the highlights.
"Credit to everyone who has contributed to our success, this is something that didn't start this season but four years ago with a vision that we wanted to become one of the best Sevens teams in the world and leave a legacy behind, and that's exactly what the guys have done."
The day was not a successful one for South Africa's nearest rivals England however, as they exited the Cup competition thanks to losses to Scotland and Kenya. Only a week after winning the England leg of the Series at Twickenham, Ben Ryan's men were convincingly beaten by both Scotland and Kenya.
Kenya topped the group after an unbeaten run while the Scots lived to fight another day after convincingly defeating Canada in their final pool game. Kenya will now face World Cup-winners Wales in the quarter finals, while Scotland face Samoa.
The Welsh qualified after an impressive victory over Argentina and a huge 50-0 win over Georgia, while their loss to Samoa meant that the Islanders were also assured a place in the quarter-finals after mauling the Pumas 42-7.
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