South Africa beats France to win Vancouver Sevens title

New Zealand had a victory over France before their loss to Spain

New Zealand had a victory over France before their loss to Spain

The Springbok Sevens team claimed their first HSBC Canada Sevens title in Vancouver on Sunday when they beat France by 21-12 in the final of the sixth tournament in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Pierre Gilles Lakafia opened the scoring for Les Bleus before the Blitzboks hit back with tries from Impi Visser, Selvyn Davids and Werner Kok.

Having cruised through to the Vancouver final over a weekend that saw series title contenders the USA, New Zealand, Fiji and England all fall by the wayside, the Blitzboks took full advantage as they overcame a motivated France side to return to the top of the podium.

"There's a lot of talent in this group and back home and I can't wait to see everyone together as it was only a matter of time before this team started to gel".

Two minutes after the restart, Kok went on a devastating run down the middle to grab South Africa's third try, and Selvyn Davids was on hand to add the extras to again maintain his ideal kicking display.

South Africa won all three pool matches during day one to finish atop the standings in Pool A.

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"I think it was a much improved effort from our team and the boys played some fantastic rugby", South Africa captain Philip Snyman said. "I am really happy with the win".

Fiji finished third after defeating U.S. 24-14 in the bronze medal match.

Either side of their loss the Kiwis thrashed France 45-7 and beat Australia 36-12, meaning they will now face Fiji in the quarter-finals.

But they recovered to reach the playoffs, beating Las Vegas finalists Samoa 35-12 in the quarterfinals and the United States 33-5 in the semis.

The top four teams at the end of the season will earn automatic qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The US‚ who could only manage fourth in Vancouver‚ still lead the series on 113 points with New Zealand on 106 and Fiji on 101 occupying second and third.

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