South Africa's sevens academy side scored a confidence-boosting regional victory at the CAR Africa Sevens to underline the country's strength in depth ahead of the upcoming rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
In doing so, the side won back Africa's sevens crown at the Prince Edward School in Harare, which was won by Kenya in 2013.
Featuring seasoned veterans such as Chris Dry and Steven Hunt, South Africa's second string went unbeaten in the tournament and beat Kenya's Shujaa in the final 38-5.
The SARU 7s Academy side after winning the CAR 7s in Harare on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/C0uNHybCyk— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) November 30, 2014
Both nations topped their respective pools and went on to reach the final with respective wins over hosts Zimbabwe, 19-12 and Tunisia, 29-5.
Zimbabwe, meanwhile, ensured that the home Harare fans went home happy with a morale-boosting 41-5 win against Tunisia to finish third. In finishing behind series regulars South Africa and Kenya, Zimbabwe and Tunisia also booked their places at the HSBC Sevens World Series qualifying event for 2015/16, which will again take place as part of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, round 6 of the series.
Pool A standings: 1 South Africa (academy), 2 Tunisia, 3 Madagascar, 4 Senegal, 5 Zambia, 6 Botswana
Pool B standings: 1 Kenya (Shujaa), 2 Zimbabwe, 3 Namibia, 4 Uganda, 5 Nigeria, 6 Ivory Coast
Blitzboks head for Dubai
On the same day as their countrymen regained regional bragging rights, Neil Powell's Blitzbok senior side embarked on the journey to Dubai for the Emirates Dubai Sevens, round 2 of the world series.
Two notable inclusions are Kyle Brown and Rayno Benjamin, pictured. Brown has recovered from the injury he suffered at the Commonwealth Games, while Benjamin was part of the world series-winning side in 2008/09 and his inclusion signals South Africa's intent in this Olympic qualifying season.
Final ranking CAR Africa Sevens, Harare, Zimbabwe
1. South Africa (academy)
2. Kenya (Shujaa)
12. Ivory Coast