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South Africa are the Dubai 7s Men’s Champions 🏆

Dubai 7s Australia’s women and South Africa’s men back up their gold medals from last season, while New Zealand and the USA also make the podium. Blitzboks beat Ireland 21-5 in final on Saturday for seventh triumph in nine years.

Just give them the Emirates Invitational Trophy to keep forever. Or rename the Emirates Dubai 7s “The Blitzboks Invitational”.

Because to be fair to them, they do let other people have ago. At least until it gets serious, at which point they switch on the afterburners and leave everyone in their wake.

South Africa won the World Sevens Series title in Dubai on Saturday night. Of course, they did. It was the fourth time in a row they have won the Middle East’s rugby festival, and the seventh time in nine years.

The last game, against first-time Dubai finalists Ireland, was more or less over before it had even begun.

Shilton van Wyk scored with the first play of the game. He added a second four minutes later, and by half-time, the champions were 21-0 up, with captain Siviwe Soyizwapi claiming an intercept score.

Ireland threatened to stir after the interval, with a try by Jack Kelly, but it was scarcely more than a consolation, as the Boks won 21-5.

“I am very proud of the boys,” Soyizwapi said. “The camp coming into this tournament was different, but we really stuck together.

“Today, and the whole weekend, just showed how much we fight for each other.”

South Africa proved the adage that it is not about how you start, but how you finish in sport.

They had arrived for this tournament with a new-look squad. Their multi-title winning coach, Neil Powell, had left the role in September, after the best part of a decade in charge.

If their opposition thought they had a chance, belief would have ballooned after Great Britain – a side put together at short notice – beat the Boks in the opening round of pool matches on Friday.

South Africa only made it through the pool phase on points difference, after a narrow win over Australia in the last game on Friday night.

And yet, while Great Britain were playing in the consolation matches on finals day and losing to Uruguay, South Africa were taking home the title yet again.

“The game of sevens is a game of no excuses,” Soyizwapi said.

“The level we are playing at this season, all the teams are tough to play against.

“They are stepping up, and there are no easy game. We mentioned that and made sure we were in the right mental space each game that we played.

“I am really happy with the defense we put out there. I think that was part of the plan.”

Van Wyk was the player of the match in the final for his two-try salvo. “We came out there with a plan, and we executed it, like the coaches ask of us,” Van Wyk said.

The win in Dubai moved South Africa level on points with Australia at the top of the World Sevens Series after two legs.

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