Boks smash Kiwis in the desert rain to win Dubai 7’s

Producing one of the most astonishing comebacks in Sevens history, South Africa beat New Zealand 31-12 in the Final of the opening round of the 2006/07 edition of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens series, the Dubai Sevens.

Coming back from being 12-0 down at the break against the five-times IRB Sevens champions, Kabamba Floors’ South African team scored 31 unanswered points in the second half – producing a performance some observers compared to the magic only Fiji can display.

And they did it in some of the worst weather seen at the Dubai Sevens in almost a decade. Unlike Day One, when the games were played in near heat wave conditions, the heavens opened at the Exiles RFC Ground on Saturday and the conditions were not only much cooler, but also far more difficult for the abbreviated version of the game as almost all the games were played in torrential rain.

By the time the Final took place the Exiles Ground’s main field had been turned into a mud bath with pools of water all over.

Yet, the South Africans produced some of the most sublime attacks at the tournament and shut the Kiwis out in a five-try second-half rout.

The Boks had playmaker and Player of the Tournament Stefan Basson, plus tireless forwards Jonathan Mokuena and Schalk van der Merwe to thank for this victory – which saw them take an early lead in the IRB Sevens series.

They now return home for the second leg of the IRB Sevens series in the South African coastal city of George, the home of captain Kabamba Floors.

Meanwhile Samoa took the Plate title, proving too strong for France in the Final of the Plate competition, coming from behind after an early try by Bogdan Leonte to win 26-7. Samoa’s captain Lolo Lui again proved the difference, inspiring the islanders in the absence of usual leader Uale Mai.

In the Bowl competition Argentina recovered from a disappointing opening day and proved too strong for spirited Zimbabwe in the Bowl Final, winning 26-7 without injured flyer Santiago Gomez Cora, whose tries earlier here took him ahead of England’s Ben Gollings to top the all-time IRB Sevens try-scoring charts with 147.

In the Shield competition Wales beat Arabian Gulf 33-0 in the Final. Never in trouble against the host nation, the Welsh will feel unfortunate not to have been contesting for higher honours after two wins on day one, but travel to South Africa with confidence restored.

Here’s a complete wrap of the second day’s play in Dubai!

Bowl quarter-finals:

The Portuguese, who were hard done by to loose out only on points difference in the race for the Cup play-offs, continued their impressive form in the opening match of Day Two easily beating Scotland 33-12. Portugal went ahead early with a try through David Mateus, who also scored his side’s second minutes later. Further tries by Aderito Esteves, Antonio de Aguilar (two) sealed the win as Portugal raced into a 33-0 lead, with consolation scores by Mark Robertson and Lee Kibble giving the Scotland score some respectability.

Argentina came from behind to beat Wales 24-10 in the second match of the Bowl section. Wales, another team unlucky to have lost out narrowly on advancing to the Cup section, opened the scoring against Argentina when Jonathan Edwards went over early. Rhodri McAtee scored next as the Welsh went further ahead, before the Pumas struck back through Horacio San Martin to make it just 10-7 in favour of Wales at the break. Santiago Gomez Cora opened the scoring in the second period, with Argentina’s star player becoming the all-time leading try scorer on the IRB Sevens circuit with his 143rd try. A yellow card against Edwards then gave the Pumas the numerical advantage that saw Gomez Cora going over for his second try of the match and his 144th on the all-time list. He extended his lead at the top of that list further when he completed his hat-trick and take his team out to a 2

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