By Emily Goddard

South Africa have defeated New Zealand to retain their home Sevens World Series title ©World Rugby Sevens SeriesSouth Africa today defeated New Zealand 26-17 in their home Sevens World Series final to retain their title in front of some 36,425 fans.

The match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth was a repeat of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal game, where South Africa overcame New Zealand 17-12, and sees the Blitzboks continuing on the road to the Rio 2016 Olympics on the right foot.

Today's win was also South Africa's second consecutive Series victory after they triumphed at last week's Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens.

Defending Series champions New Zealand got an early lead thanks to Sherwin Stowers crossing out wide, but home athlete Philip Snyman soon levelled the scoreboard.

Cecil Afrika then sent the crowd wild with South Africa's second try, extending the lead to 12-5 just ahead of the break before Joe Webber capitalised on Afrika's sin bin to reduce the deficit to two.

The United States were the winners of the Plate in South Africa ©World Rugby Sevens SeriesThe United States were the winners of the Plate in South Africa ©World Rugby Sevens Series

Seabelo Senatla made a bee line for the corner setting up 19-10 lead early in the second half, before Webber responded again for the All Blacks Sevens to reduce the margin to two once more with five minutes remaining, but Kwagga Smith scored next to give the home side the 26-17 win.

"It was an awesome game of rugby and physical to the death," South Africa's Kyle Brown said.

"You couldn't ask for anything more than to fight to victory on home soil."

Earlier in the day Australia finished in third place at the tournament after defeating Argentina 34-19, while the United States shocked Fiji 21-14 to win the Plate, Canada overcame Kenya 24-5 to in the Bowl final and Portugal secured a 19-14 win over Samoa to take home the Shield.

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