South Africa made history by handing New Zealand their first ever Commonwealth Games defeat to take Gold in Glasgow.
Brilliance from the Blitzbokke, even without captain Kyle Brown for the whole contest, marked a special moment.
Cecil Afrika, who had been the flagbearer for South Africa at the opening ceremony, scored the crucial try that separated the two teams in the end.
New Zealand had been looking for a fifth Commonwealth Games title in a row after previously winning in Kuala Lumpur, Manchester, Melbourne and Delhi. But they were to be denied.
Both teams progressed following wins over Australia and Samoa respectively, with Geraint John’s young side convincingly taking the Bronze Medal thanks to a 24-0 win over the Pacific Islanders.
England went on to grab the Plate with a last-gasp victory over Wales in Tom Powell’s final appearance, while Canada and Sri Lanka lifted the Bowl and Shield respectively.
The former reigning champions’ quarter-final against Kenya was far from a simple affair, Paul Treu’s side pushing them close before ultimately the reigning champions came through to win 19-7.
An outstanding first half from Wales left Australia in tatters, leading 19-0 at the break and giving Australia with too much to do, Ed Jenkins’ late score before the interval handing them a foothold.
Rebels flanker Sean McMahon’s try brought Australia back within a score to set up the most thrilling of finishes, Pama Fou’s converted try under the posts after the hooter sealing the comeback to win 19-21.
England turned out with their captain and IRB Sevens Player of the Year, Tom Mitchell, following his injury when they took on Samoa.
Marcus Watson’s sharp feet opened the scoring but Samoa hit back with two tries before the break, one coming after James Rodwell had been sin-binned.
Stunning tries from either side by Lio Lolo and Dan Norton set up a one-point finish into the final minutes, with Samoa clinging on and counter-rucking to great effect to win 15-14.
South Africa killed off the Home Nations’ participation in the tournament by defeating their Scottish hosts, early tries from Cornal Hendricks and Branco du Preez in the first half setting the tone, with Seabelo Senatla adding a third for a 21-0 lead at the interval.
Mark Bennett gave Scotland hope and after Lee Jones scored his sixth try of the tournament the home side were believing again. Senatla though put paid to that with a blistering second try before Cecil Afrika wrapped up proceedings with the Blitzbokke’s fifth try for a 35-12 victory.
Final: New Zealand 12-17 South Africa
Bronze Medal: Australia 24-0 Samoa
Semi-Finals: New Zealand 19-7 Australia, Samoa 7-35 South Africa
Quarter-Finals: New Zealand 19-7 Kenya, Australia 21-19 Wales, Samoa 15-14 England, South Africa 35-12 Scotland
Final: Wales 15-17 England
Semi-Finals: Kenya 5-28 Wales, England 15-12 Scotland
Final: Canada 50-7 Cook Islands
Semi-Finals: Canada 32-0 Uganda, Papua New Guinea 12-24 Cook Islands
Quarter-Finals: Canada 33-0 Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda 35-0 Malaysia, Papua New Guinea 17-12 Sri Lanka, Cook Islands 31-7 Barbados
Final: Trinidad and Tobago 7-43 Sri Lanka
Semi-Finals: Trinidad and Tobago 15-10 Malaysia, Sri Lanka 34-0 Barbados
- Planet Rugby