South Africa have won the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens Cup final for the first time since 2008, defeating Australia 33-7 in a clinical display of sevens rugby, with Kwagga Smith putting in a commanding performance in attack and defence.
The win puts them second in the overall series standings behind Fiji, and ahead of Australia and New Zealand who complete the top four in the race to qualify directly for the 2016 Olympic Games with Gold Coast winners Fiji beating New Zealand to third place.
End to end rugby was the feature of the early exchanges with neither side able to break up the opposition defence. It was South Africa's three-try semi final hero Smith who posted first points with a strong bust down the right. Australia hit back right on half-time, spreading the ball wide to Pama Fou, levelling at 7-7 going into the break.
Unlike the first half it was only a matter of seconds before the scoreboard ticked over again, Philip Snyman diving low beside the posts for the Blitzboks' second. Sam Myers had a chance to level the score for Australia, appearing in their first-ever Dubai Cup final, but was held up over the line by Smith in a last ditch show of strength.
Seabelo Senatla then put on the after burners to chase down a kick and score to extend South Africa's lead to 21-7. Senatala's second, bringing him level with Ambrose Curtis on seven tries to lead the tournament try scoring charts, and a Ruhan Nel five-pointer sealed the win.
"We didn't play our best in Australia but this was a fantastic event for us," South African captain Kyle Brown said. "We've worked hard on our defence all day and this means a lot to all of us. We'll enjoy tonight for sure!"
Earlier, South Africa produced a dominant 28-0 win over defending series champions New Zealand to book a place in the Cup final. Everything Kwagga Smith touched turned to points in the first half as he locked away a hat-trick giving South Africa a 21-0 lead, with Cecil Afrika putting the icing on the cake for Neil Powell's charges with a breakaway try with two minutes remaining.
Australia had pulled off the upset of the tournament on their way to the Cup final, a first for coach Geraint John, defeating defending champions Fiji 29-24 in extra time, Greg Jeloudev scoring the winning try in the corner as round two of the HSBC Sevens World Series continued.
PLATE FINAL: ARGENTINA END SCOTS BRAVE DISPLAY
Argentina came from behind to defeat Scotland 26-12 in an entertaining Plate final. After a closely contested start it took a clever Colin Gregor crossfield kick to break the shackles for Scotland, the ball ending up in Mark Robertson's hands for the first try.
Scott Wight followed up with a five-pointer of his own and Scotland led by 12 before Patricio Fernandez broke through for Argentina on the stroke of half-time, reducing the margin to 12-7. Argentina were first to strike in the second stanza with Segundo Tuculet picking up a double putting his side ahead 21-12. Alex Muller closed out the win for Argentina with the final try on the siren
Earlier, Argentina beat Simon Amor's injury-depleted England 21-19. A Tom Bowen first-half brace set up a 12-7 lead for England at the break. But Argentina were not to be denied posting tries through Santiago Alvarez and Gaston Revol to steal the win.
Scotland's Gregor added two tries to his impressive tournament points tally on the way to booking a berth in the Plate final as his side defeated Wales 31-7. An opportunistic try from Scott Riddell had the Scots up 14-0 at the break before outscoring Wales three tries to one in the second stanza.
BOWL FINAL: SAMOA POWER HOME
Samoa came from 14-0 down to defeat France 31-21 in the Bowl final. France looked to be in control early with tries to Julien Candelon and Julien Saubade. Samoa hit back with Reupena Levasa and Tom Iosefo tries to level the score at 14-14 before France scored on half-time for a 21-14 lead. Three unanswered tries in the second half, including Levasa's second, powered the Pacific islanders home.
Earlier, Samoa scored three tries to two, including a double from Siaosi Asofolau 's in their 19-14 semi final win over Portugal, while France defeated the USA 24-15. Two tries apiece to Terry Bouhraoua and Julien Saubade the highlight of an entertaining fixture. USA's Carlin Isles showcased his speed yet again with a stunning five-pointer down the right wing evading a hard chasing Bouhraoua along the way.
SHIELD FINAL: CANADA BEATS KENYA
Canada defeated Kenya 19-12 in the Shield final scoring three tries to two, including a double by Justin Douglas. Andrew Amonde and Leonard Mugaisi crossed for Kenya.
"It's a positive finish for the guys. It's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for us this weekend," said Canada coach Liam Middleton. "A few of our technical aspects need to improve for next week. We're a couple of guys down but that will provide a good opportunity for some other members of the squad.”
Earlier, Canada advanced to the final after defeating Japan 29-14. Sean Duke bagged a double in the win to become Canada's leading all-time pointscorer overtaking Dave Moonlight while Kenya beat Brazil 22-7 in the other Cup semi-final to earn their place.