Hougaard helps South Africa Sevens to Plate title in Paris

Francois Hougaard helped South Africa to the second-tier Plate title at the Paris leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series at the weekend.

The speedy back was involved in all six matches as South Africa lost just once on their way to the title.

South Africa opened their tournament with a 24-5 victory over England on Friday before seeing-off Brazil 30-7 in their first game on Saturday.

Later that evening Hougaard crossed the whitewash as his side overcame Australia 31-0 to ensure a top-place finish in Pool 3 and progression to the Cup quarter-finals.

But it was heartbreak for Hougaard and his teammates in Sunday’s quarters as they lost 21-10 to Samoa, despite taking the lead.

The loss meant South Africa dropped to the second-tier Plate competition, where they came up against New Zealand in the semi-finals.

And an inspired South Africa battled back from a 12-0 deficit to record a 29-19 win and book their place in the final against Australia.

After a hotly-contested first-half in the showpiece event, Hougaard and his side moved up the gears to claim a 17-7 victory and get their hands on the Plate.

The result also leaves South Africa in second place in the overall table on 152 points.

The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series comes to an end this weekend at Twickenham, where South Africa take-on Samoa, USA and Canada in Pool A.