Holders South Africa cruise on as Fiji crash out of Dubai Sevens

Olympic champions stumble to first ever defeat to Spain on Day 1 in Dubai

Players in action during the match between Fiji ( blue & black) vs Argentina (white & blue) held at The Sevens stadium on the second day of the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens series in Dubai. Pawan Singh/The National

South Africa are on course to extend their dominance of the Emirates Dubai Sevens title after another resounding start to their World Series campaign.

The Blitzboks won the Emirates International title the last time it was played in front of fans, pre-Covid. They also won the first tournament back on the series, when a competition was played behind closed doors in Dubai last week.

As the fans returned in force at The Sevens, South Africa’s players turned on the style. In winning their opening three matches on Day 1, they extended their unbeaten record to 21 matches.

They beat the new Great Britain side 21-7 in the final match on Friday night, having earlier thrashed Japan 48-0, and then beat Ireland 21-12. The defending champions will now face Kenya in their quarter-final on Saturday morning.

Players in action during the match between Fiji (black & White) vs Spain (red) on the second day of the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens. Pawan Singh/The National.

Great Britain, who were competing in front of crowds in Dubai for the first time instead of being divided into teams from England, Scotland and Wales, also went through to the last eight.

If South Africa’s form was just as expected in Dubai, the same could not be said of Fiji. The two-time Olympic gold winners crashed out on the opening day.

They finished bottom of their group after being beaten resoundingly by Spain for the first time in World Series history.

Argentina topped Fiji’s group and they will face Great Britain in the quarters. Australia will meet Ireland in the opening match of the day, at 9.44am.

The US, who were runners up to South Africa a week ago, will play France in the other last-eight encounter.

Updated: December 3rd 2021, 6:50 PM