Australia win London Sevens tournament

Australia beat South Africa 19-14 in a thrilling final at Twickenham to win the London Sevens and claim a first Cup title on the IRB Sevens World Series since Brisbane in 2002.


With their victory the Australians climb to joint-third in the World Series standings with one tournament to play, the Edinburgh Sevens at Murrayfield next weekend.


In beating closest rivals New Zealand to reach the Cup semi finals Samoa took a giant stride towards a first ever IRB Sevens World Series title and take a seven-point lead from the second-placed kiwis to Murrayfield for the season climax next weekend.

 

Overall Series Standings

SAMOA 140
NEW ZEALAND 133
AUSTRALIA 1102
FIJI 102
ENGLAND 80
SOUTH AFRICA 74
ARGENTINA54
KENYA 52
UNITED STATES 32
WALES 30
CANADA 15

In the other competitions Canada beat Portugal at the death in a fine Bowl final and Kenya also needed all 14 minutes to beat France and claim the Shield.


England’s home title defence came to an end at the Cup quarter final stages when they were beaten by South Africa.


Although they lost speedster Clinton Sills to injury early on in the Cup final, Australia forged ahead and Brackin Karauria-Henry’s converted try gave them a 7-0 lead that they held until Fabian Juries’ opportunist chip-and-chase drew the Boks level on the stroke of half time.


The brilliant James Stannard found a gap in the South African defence to put his Australian side back into the lead but again it was Juries who took the ball at full pace and cut back for a 14-12 lead.


With two minutes to go, though, it was the tournament’s outstanding forward Henry Vanderglas on hand to latch on to another clever Wallaby offload and power over for a 19-14 Australia lead.

 

Cecil Afrika then looked certain to score the winner but was brilliantly tackled by sweeper Stannard.

New Zealand did recover from that loss to beat Fiji in the Plate final but to take a ninth World Series crown they will need to win in Edinburgh and hope Samoa do not make the final.


Australia were the first side through to the London Cup final, beating Argentina 26-14 to reach their first IRB Sevens Cup final since February 2002.


Clinton Sills and Watisoni Votu of Fiji both crossed for hat tricks in a pulsating quarter final which the Wallabies won in the last minute 29-28 and in the semi final against Argentina Sills added two more tries to take his tally to nine for the tournament, but looked to be suffering from a leg injury in the latter stages.


The Springbok Seven put in a superb display to beat the impressive Samoans 24-12, Ryno Benjamin, Chris Dry, Cecil Afrika and the returning Fabian Juries all crossing for tries.


South Africa earlier beatEngland 17-12 in front of 40,000 fans at Twickenham. With the score at 0-0, England captain Ben Gollings saw yellow midway through the first half and in his absence the Boks took control of the match.

 

MJ Mentz scored a first try and they led 17-0 at the half after tries from Ryno Benjamin and Cecil Afrika. England hit back through Tom Varndell but South Africa slowed play down cleverly and Tom Powell’s late try was nothing more than a consolation.

New Zealand leave it late to clinch Plate (12 Series points)


New Zealand won a famous victory against Fiji in the Plate final, Sherwin Stowers sprinting clear well after the final hooter had sounded to clinch a 26-24 win when Isake Katonibau’s try looked to have given Fiji the win with only 30 seconds remaining.


In clawing back the victory New Zealand also kept alive their hopes of claiming a 9th IRB Sevens World Series title. They will win the 2009/2010 season should they take the Edinburgh Cup title and Samoa fail to reach the Cup final in Murrayfield,

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