The All Blacks Sevens came from 14-0 and 21-7 behind to dramatically beat South Africa 24-21 in the Cup final of the HSBC Wellington Sevens.
The win sees Sir Gordon Tietjens' move from seventh to third in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings with 47 points, five behind Fiji who finished third at the Westpac Stadium and seven behind the Blitzboks who moved ahead of Fiji for the first time this season.
There were enthralling scenes in Wellington as the hosts snatched victory at the death to claim a hat-trick of Wellington titles and a fifth in six years thanks to a match-winning try from Joe Webber. New Zealand kept the ball and their composure after the buzzer had sounded to cap a remarkable comeback, similar to that of their 17-14 pool victory over Neil Powell's side at the end of day.
"All week we talked about how we needed a lot of heart and a lot of ticker," said captain Tim Mikkelson. "Liam Messam came back from Japan and talked about putting the pride back in the jersey after the last couple of tournaments, and that's what we did. We talked about securing the kick-offs and we bumbled a few and put ourselves under pressure but we knew if we coud keep the ball in hand we could win."
In the semi-finals Cheslin Kolbe scored two tries to help Neil Powell's side cruise to a 31-0 win over Fiji, while Ben Lam also scored two as the hosts New Zealand booked their place in the final with a win over England. Sydney hosts Australia won the Plate with a 21-5 win over Argentina.
Samoa too strong for Scotland
Samoa dispatched Scotland without too much trouble to win the Bowl final. Samoa's Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa turned Scotland's Mark Robertson inside and out with another trademark step to score the opening try. Samoa scored two turnover tries in the second half. with Tomasi Alosio the first to scoot over from the base of the ruck on the 10-minute mark. Danny Tusitala followed his lead a few minutes later after the Pacific Islanders turned defence into attack. Scotland had the last say however when Gavin Lowe dotted down with the clock in red.
France grab some silverware
France won the Shield after beating Russia 14-7. Captain Steeve Barry got the French off to a great start, picking the ball up at the base of the ruck after a good weaving run from Julien Candelon to score the game's first try. Moments later, 35-year-old Candelon crossed the line himself with Arthur Retiere supplying the extras. Russia almost got back into the game after half time but Vladimir Sozonov failed to ground the ball properly. Vladimir Lazarenko's score three minutes later was too little too late.