Blitzboks beat Rio champs to gold in Dubai

The New Zealand men's sevens team failed to make the final four at the opening leg of the World Series in Dubai.

The All Black sevens were crushed 40-nil by South Africa in this morning's Cup quarter-finals before being beaten by Australia 20-12 in the fifth place playoff.

New Zealand finished equal seventh/eighth alongside France and sit in the same place in the standings with 10 points.

South Africa claimed top prize after they beat last season's series champions and Olympic gold medallists, Fiji, 26-14 in the final.

The Blitzboks scored early tries from Cecil Afrika and Branco du Preez to put them into an early lead, however Fijian captain Osea Kolinisau fired back to make it 14-7 at half-time.

From the restart Jerry Tuwai touched down under the posts, with the conversion levelling the score at 14-14, but shortly afterwards Chris Dry scored to edge South Africa into the lead.

That try gave his team the Blitzboks momentum and it was a final try from Seabelo Senatla that sealed the match, bringing his tally to 11 tries for the tournament.

The South African captain Philip Snyman said: "We just needed to stick to our game plan and structure and that's exactly what the guys did. We never let Fiji into the game and then they were playing catch-up rugby, which I think worked to our advantage.

"We can be positive going into our home tournament next weekend in Cape Town, but we need to start all over again and fix a few things that went wrong. We need to recover well over the next few days."

England beat Wales faced off in the battle for bronze while Australia finished the day in fifth.

The second round of the World Series moves to Cape Town next weekend.

Photo: PHOTOSPORT (NZ veteran DJ Forbes in action during the first day of the Dubai 7s, December 2016).