Sport

Wellington Sevens: NZ denies South Africa in dramatic final

Updated 1528 GMT (2328 HKT) January 31, 2016
Share
sonny bill williams selfie wellington sevenssonny bill williams selfie wellington sevens
1 of 8
Sonny Bill Williams takes a selfie with fans during the cup final against South Africa at the Wellington Sevens. MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Williams celebrated his debut in the sevens format as the All Blacks won the tournament for the third year in a row to get off the mark in this season's World Series. Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
South Africa, which won the previous round in Cape Town in December, rocked the home side from the start and took a 14-0 lead through tries to captain Philip Snyman and Rosko Specman (here tackling Gillies Kaka). Mark Tantrum/Getty Images AsiaPac
Akira Ioane, once heralded as "the next Jonah Lomu," kept New Zealand in the game with a touchdown of his own and superb try-saving tackle. Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
An error by 2015 Rugby World Cup winner Williams allowed fellow 15-a-side convert Francois Hougaard to set up Seabelo Senatla for South Africa's third try. Mark Tantrum/Getty Images AsiaPac
With Specman in the sin bin, Ioane's teenage brother Rieko took advantage to cross the line twice as the All Blacks closed to two points. Mark Tantrum/Getty Images AsiaPac
Joe Webber then scored a dramatic last-gasp winner after sterling defensive work at the other end of the pitch by teammate Regan Ware, for a final score of 24-21 against the Sevens World Series leader. Mark Tantrum/Getty Images AsiaPac
Williams made a strong debut on Saturday as New Zealand won all three group games, and also scored a try in the 25-5 semifinal win over England. The All Blacks thrashed Kenya 36-0 in Sunday's opening quarterfinal. MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images