Cape Town – New Zealand did the double at the fifth instalment of the popular Cape Town Sevens as their men’s and women’s groups were crowned champions on a weekend where brand-new sevens records were embeded in the Mother City.
With a females’s tournament contributed to the action for the first time, and the action extended to 3 days, the Cape Town Arena saw new records for tries scored and presence.
In 2018, 297 tries were scored over 2 days in December, however this weekend saw 385 tries taped by the 28 teams in action.
The overall participation at the Cape Town Stadium was 119 539 over the 3 days (11113 on Friday, 52 612 on Saturday and 55 804 on Sunday). In 2018, a total of 107 905 viewers streamed through evictions, with the previous record of 115 396 embeded in 2017.
The All Blacks Sevens beat the Blitzboks, 7-5, in a nail-biting last, while the Black Ferns won the ladies’s competition when they beat Australia, 17 -7, in the final. The bronze medals went to Canada (women’s) and France (guys’s).
” This year the event went up a gear with the addition of the women’s competitors and a 3rd day of action here at the Cape Town Sevens, and our company believe we’ve raised the bar significantly this weekend,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
” We said #AnythingCanHappen and, both on and off the field, the event actually provided: whether it was synchronised swimmers in the pools; dancers suspended from the roofing system; opera from the stands or relentless rugby on the field – the event pretty much had everything.
” Regrettably, the Blitzboks stopped working to clinch the title but it was wonderful to see the assistance for them and the Imbokodo – the females’s team – with the last 3 days underlining the fact that we enjoy our rugby and an event here in South Africa.”
On the field, France remained in sublime form: Their women’s group’s 26 tries were the most of any side on the weekend, while the French guys scored 25 tries, the same as New Zealand’s men.
The 2 specific star performers were Alev Kelter of the U.S.A., whose 44 points and 6 tries were the most by any females, and Jean Pascal Barraque of France, who scored 54 points and 6 attempts to top the list of men.
Ruhan Nel’s five tries were the most for the Blitzboks, while Justin Geduld included 38 points and was successful with the most conversions (14) as he went through the 1 000- point mark for the Blitzboks.
Roux added: “Congratulations to New Zealand on winning the titles this weekend. Both finals were really tense and tough and delivered correct sevens rugby and they deserved their reward.
” I would also like to congratulate the Blitzboks on a great start to the season, even though they were pipped at the post, and the Imbokodo for revealing battling spirit in their video games and finishing tenth versus 11 other teams that are all regulars on the World Rugby Sevens Series.
” Thank you too to the other 24 groups that came here and thrilled us for 3 days with superb rugby, along with the 120 000 individuals who assisted make this tournament another one for the books.”