South Africa falls to New Zealand in Cape Town 7s final

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 15: Rosko Specman of South Africa during day 3 of the 2019 HSBC Cape Town Sevens final match between South Africa and New Zealand at Cape Town Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – DECEMBER 15: New Zealand team posing with the trophy during day 3 of the 2019 HSBC Cape Town Sevens final match between South Africa and New Zealand at Cape Town Stadium on December 15, 2019, in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

South Africa narrowly lost 7-5 to New Zealand in a tense Cup final of the Cape Town 7s in South Africa, on Sunday.

The final of the second leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series was a rematch of the first leg in Dubai in which South Africa won 15-0.

After a scoreless first half, the Blitzboks took the lead in the second half through Justin Geduld. However, the conversion was unsuccessful.

A Ngarohi McGarvey-Black try and a successful conversion by Akuila Rokolisoa three minutes later gave the All Blacks the lead.

New Zealand would hold on for the win and claim its 11th Cape Town 7s title, a second in three years. The All Blacks also leapfrogged South Africa into first in the Series table. Both sides are tied on 41 points while France lies 3rd on 29 points.

Blitzboks coach Neil Powell said he was pleased with the effort his side had put in over the last two weeks.

“That is a much better start than last season and bar the two lineouts we fluffed in the final, we had a good tournament. I certainly cannot fault the effort of the players,” Powell said. “It is unfortunate that we could not pull this one through as the Cape Town crowd has been amazing and we would have loved nothing more than winning in front of them.”

The next tournaments, for both the men and women, will be held in Hamilton, New Zealand, from January 25-26 followed by Sydney, Australia, from February 1-2.

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