South Africa wins the 2017 USA 7s
In a pairing of the last four USA Sevens champions, the first final played under the seven-minute-a-half model implemented this season, the two-time defending series champion Fijians looked to cut into the massive lead in the standings for South Africa. Fiji scored first thanks to Masivesi Dakuwaqa. The try was the product of perhaps the most exciting exchange in the tournament. What looked to many to be a Fijian try, was not awarded, the right call being made that the ball carrier, although having crossed into the in-goal area, did not place the ball down in-goal, because he had been bent back out of the goal. South Africa forced the turnover, but gave it up to Dakuwaqa for the try. Cecil Afrika’s completion of the Siviwe Soyizwapi run for a try under the post along with his conversion, in the fifth minute, put South Africa ahead 7–5. Pummeling rugby closed the half without a further score.
The second half continued to be the most physical match of the entire tournament. At 5:33 remaining, Cecil Afrika stepped through defenders and offloaded back inside to Chris Dry for the try under the post. Afrika added another conversion for the two-score lead in the tenth minute. On the restart, a massive hit delivered by South Afrika, led to a penalty in favor of Fiji. Carelessness with the ball, however, returned possession to South Africa, which itself had to overcome overly cavalier passes. Rosko Specman’s unconverted try made placed two full scores ahead of Fiji and a third consecutive USA Sevens title. The vocal Fijian contingent roared for the score from Waisea Nacuqu, and the vital conversion left the match up for grabs. On the restart, South African Wener Kok went up for the KiK and was slammed to the ground for his troubles. A dust up followed, but the penalty secured the win for South Africa. The penalty earned Sevuloni Mocenacagi. And there is your 2017 USA Sevens champion: South Africa 19, Fiji 12.