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Johannesburg – The Samurai International team were crowned champions of the inaugural NBM Sevens Premier League rugby tournament when they beat the Cheetahs 29-14 in George on Saturday.
The specialist sevens outfit outplayed a Cheetahs side brimming with Super Rugby talent, with Justin Geduld running in four tries for the winning team.
They were rewarded for their efforts by picking up R1 million in prize money as they finished the tournament as the only unbeaten side.
In spite of the inclusion of exciting XV-man rugby talents such as Raymond Rhule, Johann Sadie and Sarel Pretorius, they could not contend with the sevens skills of the Samurai players.
The Samurai team, consisting of up-and-coming talent, showed their nous for the sevens game as they ran in three quick tries, all thanks to the swift-footed Geduld.
The Cheetahs got onto the scoreboard shortly before the half-time break, with Johann Sadie scoring, but the Bloemfontein side’s fightback was short-lived as Geduld caught the Cheetahs off guard once again, breaking from a loose scrum to score his fourth try of the match.
The Cheetahs pulled back another try shortly after but the Samurais wrapped up the match at the death as Sergio Torrens crossed the whitewash.
Earlier, the NBM All Stars finished the tournament in third place as they dismantled the Sharks 29-5 in their third-place playoff.
In the plate final, the Living Ball team beat a young Blue Bulls side 24-12, while the Lions won the bowl final 26-14 against Western Province.
The tournament saw soccer giants Kaizer Chiefs venture into rugby, and they showed great potential on the first day of the tournament, just missing out on finishing the day as one of the unbeaten sides.
Chiefs finished third in the plate category after they beat Boland 24-12 before former Proteas great Makhaya Ntini made a cameo appearance for the Glamour Boys in the last few minutes of the match.
The 12-team Sevens Premier League tournament featured six South African provincial sides and six corporate outfits. – Sapa