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Argentina crowned SVNS Series League winners for the first time

By Finn Morton
Matteo Graziano #4 (2L) and Tobias Wade #10 of Argentina celebrate after the men's 5th place playoff match victory over South Africa during day three of the HSBC SVNS Singapore at the National Stadium on May 05, 2024 in Singapore. Argentina won the SVNS League with the victory. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

Argentina have been crowned the men’s SVNS Series League winners for the first time ever after overcoming a valiant South Africa outfit in a thrilling match at Singapore’s National Stadium.

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Los Pumas Sevens had an opportunity to secure the prestigious title on Saturday evening in a crunch contest with Series heavyweights Ireland but ended up losing that quarter-final 21-5.

The Irish moved on to the SVNS Singapore semi-finals but the Argies remained in the box seat to claim the crown. Argentina would have another chance to make history against South Africa.

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It’s true the fifth-place playoff isn’t usually the game of the weekend, but thousands in attendance at the Singaporean venue couldn’t look away if they tried as two Titans clashed.

Argentina needed to win but that looked somewhat unlikely at one stage as South Africa ran up a strong lead, but Los Pumas Sevens – as they have all season – stood up when it mattered.

Agustin Fraga got the Argies back into the contest with an 11th-minute try, but Tobias Wade was the hero. The playmaker crossed under the sticks for the title-winning score in the final minute.

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For Argentina Sevens legend Gaston Revol, who played his 100th international tournament earlier this season in Cape Town, “it’s been such a long time” coming on the Series.

“So many moments, good and bad moments. The journey was really difficult,” Gaston told RugbyPass and a couple of other reporters.

“We kept on trying, kept on training, kept on believing in this team and I think we have the prize that we deserve.

“It’s incredible to be here at this moment. Here and in every other tournament at my age, I’m 37 years old and I’m still here with these guys, these great players.

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“They are the ones that made the major difference on the field.”

Argentina were practically unstoppable during the first half of the season with Los Pumas Sevens going winning three finals on the bounce from four appearances in Cup final deciders.

They famously broke the pool after winning the title in Cape Town, celebrated with hundreds of Argentina fans at Perth’s HBF Park, and got the better of New Zealand in Vancouver’s big dance.

But after losing to Ireland in the Los Angeles quarter-finals and then failing to make it out of the group stage at the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens, it all came down to Singapore.

Ireland’s Harry McNulty was out signing autographs and taking selfies with supporters on Sunday with South Africa in a commanding position over Argentina in the decisive fixture.

Tiaan Pretorius scored in the second minute and Siviwe Soyizwapi added another shortly after as the Blitzboks took control. But as the game went on, more and more passes went to the ground.

Argentina rallied at half-time and ultimately made their opponents – who beat them in the Dubai final way back in December – pay.

“That was tough,” Gaston said when asked about the half-time huddle.

“But this is our team – this is us. In the difficult moments, we get together and do things like winning the match.

“(At half-time) one of the guys said in the (huddle) that we could, that we have to trust and we did that,” he added. “We started to believe.”

Catch up on all the latest SVNS Series action from the 2023/24 season on RugbyPass TV. SVNS Singapore is live and free to watch, all you need to do is sign up HERE.

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Michael 5 minutes ago
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