Australia beat Springbok Sevens to lift Dubai Plate

LEWIS Holland scored a try with the last movement of the match to help Australia beat South Africa 17-14 in the Plate Final at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens on Saturday. England won their second successive Dubai title after beating France 29-12 in the Cup Final.

South Africa led 14-5 at the break after Chris Dry and Branco du Preez has scored a try each and Holland touched down for Australia for his first of two tries.

Hamish Angus then narrowed the score to 10-14 after he scored just after play resumed in the second half. Just when it looked like South Africa had done enough to win the Plate, Holland won possession and ran almost the full length of the pitch to score the decisive try to condemn the Blitzbokke to their second defeat of the day.

Earlier Australia had beaten defending Series champions New Zealand 26-12 in their semi-final, inflicting a third successive defeat for the first time in Sevens history on Gordon Tietjens’ team.

The Springbok Sevens managed to gain 12 points for the efforts in Dubai and in doing so stay in touch with the HSBC Sevens World Series log leaders. They now have 29 points from two tournaments which place them and New Zealand joint second on the log behind Fiji (39).

South Africa, who scored a comprehensive victory over New Zealand in their last Pool B match last night, lost their quarter-final match 19-7 against a resurgent French team who hardly allowed the Blitzbokke to get any movement going.

Terry Bouhraou, Manoel Dall Igna and Renaud Delmas scored for France before Bernado Botha scored a consolation try for the Blitzbokke.

South Africa played much better against Wales and deservedly won 22-7 to book their place in the consolation Plate Final. Branco du Preez, William Small-Smith, Robert Ebersohn and Renfred Dazel each got onto the score sheet before Owen B Williams replied with Wales’ only effort just before the final whistle.

Paul Treu, the SA Sevens coach, said he was disappointed with his teams’ below par performances. “It was disappointing for us that we did not play to our full potential. We gained some valuable points which allowed us to stay in touch with the front group on the log and we will now regroup and focus our efforts on doing well in our home tournament next week in Nelson Mandela Bay,” said Treu.

He confirmed that Robert Ebersohn will return to Super Rugby pre-season duties with the Toyota Cheetahs and will be replaced by Cornal Hendricks in PE. The injured Cecil Afrika should return to full fitness and be available for selection.

The sixteen teams arrive tomorrow evening in Port Elizabeth on two flights via Johannesburg for the first SA Sevens tournament to be staged in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The Final winners in Dubai

Cup: England 29, France 12

Third place playoff: Fiji 26, Argentina 21

Plate: Australia 17, SA 14

Bowl: Scotland 26, USA 0

Shield: Samoa 31, Kenya 17

Women’s Challenge Cup

Canada claimed the first IRB Women’s Challenge Cup with a 26-7 victory over England in the Cup Final. South Africa, who beat Brazil earlier in the day to reach the Plate Final, lost their deciding encounter 28-0 against

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