The Blitzboks powered their way to a 19-12 win over archrivals Fiji to clinch the USA Sevens title in Las Vegas on Monday.
The Blitzboks have now won four tournaments out of five this World Rugby Seven Series, and extended their already considerable advantage at the summit of the standings to 24 points.
Just as importantly, though, they proved that they can still survive and thrive in the absence of superstar Seabelo Senatla, while having also lost key playmaker Justin Geduld to injury earlier on in the tournament.
Fiji scored early through Masivesi Dakuwaqa in the final played during the early hours of Monday morning (SA time), but they then let the Blitzboks right back in as they conceded a yellow card, with Cecil Afrika dotting down under the posts.
That try enabled the Springbok Sevens to take a 7-5 lead into half-time, and they then made the perfect start to the second period when Rosco Speckman created a try for Chris Dry that helped open up a nine-point buffer.
With three minutes remaining, Speckman then showed a clean pair of heels to dart away and score effectively the match-winning try, and while Fiji did manage to score late in the game, it was too little too late.
Earlier the Blitzboks had beaten the USA 20-17 in the semi-finals.
South Africa showed their composure in the semi-final against the hosts. They were made to fight back twice in the game, and ultimately did enough to progress to the Cup final.
The USA looked to be on course for a big win after scoring two tries inside the first two minutes. The Blitzboks had a man in the sin bin at that point, and were battling to live with the physicality of the hosts.
The six-man side hit back immediately through Dylan Sage. Ruhan Nel crossed the line as the half-time hooter sounded and the Blitzboks trailed 12-10 at the break.
When Werner Kok scored early in the second half, it appeared as if the Blitzboks were starting to take control. But the USA continued to fight, and regained the lead.
Sage scored his second try with two minutes left on the clock. The USA had a chance to win at the death, but were turned over at the breakdown. The Blitzboks kicked the ball to touch to bring the contest to an end, and secure their passage to the final.
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