South Africa pay timely tribute to Nelson Mandela by beating New Zealand to win World Sevens event on home soil
Last Updated: 08/12/13 8:36pm
South Africa beat New Zealand in the IRB Sevens final at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
South Africa produced a timely tribute to former president Nelson Mandela as they beat New Zealand to win the third tournament of the IRB Sevens World Series on home soil.
Captain Kyle Brown was the hero for the home side as he scored the crucial try three minutes from time to secure an emotional and hard-fought 17-14 victory over New Zealand in Sunday's final at the East Cape stadium named after Mandela.
The Kiwis had drawn first blood when Scott Curry bundled over early on and they doubled their lead when Sherwin Stowers powered over - both tries being converted by Tomasi Cama.
But the hosts hit back when Branco du Preez surged over and the same player touched down again moments later to leave the scoreline at 14-12 following a breathless first period.
Cheered on by a partisan home crowd, South Africa dominated the second half and duly got their reward when Brown won a line-out before racing clear for the decisive score.
"It has been an emotional few days and I was hoping we could put a smile on everyone's faces after a tough few days," a delighted Brown said afterwards.
"This crowd has been unbelievable all weekend. The guys' performance has filled so many seats. The composure from the guys was brilliant."
South Africa coach Neil Powell added: "If we were close at half-time I knew we could do it - credit to the boys who carried the team through in the last 10 minutes.
"It's been an emotional weekend and the guys are really feeding off the atmosphere inside the stadium. It is a privilege to play here this weekend."
Samoa beat Argentina 21-7 to clinch third place, while Fiji emerged triumphant in the Plate final with a 45-19 victory over France.
England clinched the Bowl, beating Australia 28-19 and Scotland walked off with the Shield following a 19-12 triumph over Canada.