South Africa secured their fourth tournament win of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17 after beating Fiji 19-12 at the Sam Boyd Stadium.
The victory gives them a 24-point buffer at the top of the series standings, with Fiji in second place and England in third following their fifth place finish in Vegas.
The final itself was a tense match-up as Olympic champions Fiji came into the match chasing their first tournament win of the series. Masivesi Dakuwaqa scored from close range early on in the match following a mistake from Ruhan Nel, but Blitzboks playmaker Cecil Afrika soon replied for the series leaders after latching onto a pass from Siviwe Soyizwapi. Powerful forward Chris Dry added a try early on in the second half, before HSBC Player of the Final Rosko Specman scorched the turf to score an incredible individual try. Waisea Nacuqu struck back for Fiji but the game was out of sight.
The Blitzboks have finished as series runners-up for four consecutive years yet have had their best start ever to a world series with victories in Dubai, Sydney, Wellington and now Las Vegas. Their loss to England in the HSBC Cape Town Sevens back in December is the only blemish on what has been the perfect start to their 2016-17 campaign and head coach Neil Powell is pleased with the way his side are performing.
"We're happy with how it's been going the last few tournaments and the guys are believing in a system and working for each other," he said. "They are showing a lot of pride in the jersey and the fact that they can play for their country. They showed a lot of composure in the final and managed to take control back in the second half."
Hosts USA finished third overall after beating New Zealand 19-15 in the Bronze final, while Kenya took victory in the Challenge Trophy final, beating Samoa 21-14.
RSA 20-17 USA
Hosts USA were on track for their first ever tournament win on home soil and started strongly against South Africa in the semi-finals. Mike Friday's side scored one of the tries of the tournament after a bursting break from Folau Niua was eventually finished off by Stephen Tomasin. Shortly after South Africa's Chris Dry was given a yellow card for not being ten metres back on a penalty, and USA immediately capitalised through Niua.
South Africa hit back through Dylan Sage and Ruhan Nel, to make it 10-12 at half-time and then it was powerful forward Werner Kok who kick-started the Blitzboks' second half charge with a great solo effort. A scything run from Maka Unufe helped set up Durutalo to bring the score back to make it 17-15 to USA. In the dying minutes Sage went over for another try and despite USA stealing the ball at a line out five metres out from the Blitzboks line, they were unable to convert the points.
Fiji 19-14 New Zealand
After a relatively straight forward quarter-final against Canada, Fiji had to produce some of their best rugby of the tournament to beat New Zealand in their Cup semi-final. A penalty try was awarded to New Zealand early on after Fiji's Kalione Nasoko was given a yellow card for a high tackle. Isaac Te Tamaki added New Zealand's second try, after shrugging off a host of Fiij defenders before the dancing feet of Jerry Tuwai gave the Pacific islanders their first score, when he broke through the defence and offloaded to Mesulame Kunavula
The formidable Jerry Tuwai used his dancing feet to jink through the defence and set up Mesulame Kunavula, making it 14-5 to New Zealand at half-time. Joeli Lutumailagi burst through early on in the second half from five metres out and stretched to score under the posts. At 14-12 to New Zealand, powerhouse forward Masivesi Dakuwaqa clinched the victory for Gareth Baber's side, romping in from 30 metres out.