HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens 2019: Day 2
The South African 7s team, the Blitzbokke, secured their first Cup title in Singapore after an exhilarating HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens final on Sunday 14th April 2019.
The South Africans carried some fine form from Day 1 of the HSBC Singapore Sevens 2019 into the final day by beating Samoa in the quarterfinal and then defeated the USA in the semifinal 24-12.
South Africa head coach Neil Powell, said of the tournament success
“I am very happy. On day one, the boys played especially well. I’m thrilled they’ve put in so much effort over the last two days and reaped the rewards of their hard work.
Going into the finals is always going to be difficult – it’s natural to have a bit of doubt and disbelief. I think just going to the field and telling the guys that we’re still in the game and if we score first we can give ourselves a shot at winning this helped to inspire the younger players. They hung onto every word we said and started to believe it.”
Fiji’s road to the final came via a quarterfinal win over New Zealand 19-5 before topping England in the semi-final.
The Cup final started at blistering pace and with some brutal physicality as the Fijians dominated the South Africans who made lots of mistakes. Fiji ran out to a comfortable 19-0 lead by the half time hooter and very few expected a comeback in the second half.
However, the South Africans fought back with grit and matched the Fijians physical menace, a quick try to the Blitzbokke giving them real belief. Fiji also suffered from persistent poor discipline, which should have cost them more on Hong Kong but did cost them dearly in Singapore. With a man sin-binned, SA ponced and scored two more tries to trail only 19-17 with little time left to play. Fiji was again penalised in front of the posts and SA took the rare Sevens decision of a penalty kick at the posts to win 20-19, in what was one of the most memorable fightbacks in 7s finals history.
Fiji head coach Gareth Barber added “We knew we were up against a good side, we knew they’d come back at us. They created momentum in the second half and we didn’t deal with it, and they deserve that at the end of it because they fought hard.
As a team, we got quite a few injuries. Everybody’s the same, you fight your way through it. We worked so hard, we lost our spiritual leader, our talisman, in the first game yesterday. If we side kicked or gone for a penalty, we would’ve won the game.
We won Hong Kong last week. We got into another final, so we’re doing something right. But we didn’t get it all right this weekend. We had a bumpy ride but showed the resilience in the game. The group pushed all their way till obviously they were beaten by a very good South African team.”
More than 57.000 fans attended the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens over the two days.
World Series Sevens standings
- 1 USA 7s 145 points
- 2 Fiji 7s 142 points
- 3 New Zealand 7s 130 points
- 4 South Africa 7s 121 points
Japan results – Singapore 7s 2019
Japan 7s started the second day with a 33-14 loss to Canada 7s. They went on to lose the 13th place semi-final against Kenya 31-24 in the last seconds of the game after a courageous fightback against the Kenyans.
The result means Japan drop below the Kenyans and Wales and back into the relegation spot for the World Series. With two rounds left there is everything to play for to secure their core team status for next season.
Japan is in Pool A for the next event at the London Sevens in May with South Africa, Argentina and Canada.
World Series Sevens standings
- 13 Kenya 7s 26 points
- 14 Wales 7s 25 points
- 15 Japan 7s 22 points
Hong Kong results – Singapore 7s 2019
After a tough day 1 Hong Kong came close to upsetting Wales but lost narrowly 19-17. They went on to play Spain and suffered another heavy defeat in the 13th place semi-final 38-12 to end their tournament in Singapore. The team played five and lost five over the weekend.
London 7s 2019 draw
The next Sevens Series tournament will take place in London from the 25-26th May 2019 before concluding in Paris the following weekend. For more information visit the Sevens World Series website.
London Sevens 2019 Pools
- Pool A: South Africa, Argentina, Canada, Japan
- Pool B: Fiji, Samoa, France, Kenya
- Pool C: England, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland
- Pool D: USA, Australia, Wales, Spain