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All Blacks Sevens ‘finish on a high’ with big win over Blitzboks in Cape Town

By Finn Morton
Sione Molia of New Zealand during day 3 of the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 Match 39 Championship Semi Finals between Ireland and New Zealand at DHL Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo ImagesGetty Images)

With the All Blacks Sevens’ quest for Cape Town SVNS glory already over, the New Zealanders embraced an opportunity to silence the home crowd in their final match of the weekend.

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Playing against hometown favourites South Africa, the All Blacks Sevens saved their best performance of the weekend for last – but it came in the fifth-placed playoff.

New Zealand started their campaign with a disastrous defeat to last weekend’s Dubai SVNS wooden spooners, and they were beaten somewhat convincingly by Samoa later that day.

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After sneaking into the quarter-finals as one of the best third-placed sides in pool play, the Kiwis were caught on the wrong side of history under the sweltering morning sun in the Western Cape.

Ireland beat their rugby rivals for the first time on the SVNS Series. They were leading by a relentlessly dominant margin, but three quick tries saw the Kiwis make the score a bit more respectable.

But with all that in the past, the All Blacks Sevens took their learnings and turned into something positive as they handed the Blitzboks an emphatic 31-7 defeat.

“Obviously disappointed with the overall of how the tournament has gone for us,” captain Sione Molia told RugbyPass.

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“We talked about winning the start well and we obviously hadn’t done that so it was good to play South Africa in that last game and get one over them, especially here in Cape Town.

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“We know it’s a real tough battle against South Africa here at home and it’s just good to finish on a high and reflect on what we could do better heading into the New Year.”

Playmaker Ngarohi McGarvey-Black opened the scoring in the second minute, and it was all New Zealand from there as they ran in five tries to South Africa’s one.

Cody Vai was the pick of the try-scorers for the New Zealanders with the rising star crossing for a brace – adding five points to the score early in each half.

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The typically vibrant Cape Town crowd was kept unusually quiet during that 14-minute blitz of the Boks.

“The two countries have got a lot of rugby history as well,” Molia added.

“To play them here at home, yes it’s definitely good to get one over them. They obviously got one over us in Dubai. To beat them here in Cape Town, we will definitely take that one.”

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