For the Blitzboks as well as New Zealand the weekend didn’t quite go according to plan and there would be no repeat of 2013 when the nations met in the final in Nelson Mandela Bay a short time after the passing of Madiba.
That weekend was a magical one for the Blitzboks who gave a grieving nation something to celebrate but we wouldn’t get any of that in 2018.
New Zealand and South Africa instead contested the Bronze medal match in a tournament that has included celebrations of Nelson Mandela’s centenary. Fiji beat the Blitzboks in their semi-final and the USA shocked New Zealand to set up the encounter at the Cape Town Stadium.
The Blitzboks produced a gutsy display in the final match they will play in their limited edition jerseys that honour Madiba and gave the crowd in the Mother City something to cheer about other than the 6785th rendition of ‘Hey Baby’ of the weekend.
Their 10-5 win means that they will close ground on their rivals in their attempt to retain the World Series Sevens title they won earlier this year but it was no fairytale, just another result ground out on the circuit.
Sunday’s action was a reminder that sport is not beholden to fit into our preset narratives. There was also no fairytale for the USA who made their second World Series final in a row for the first time but were well beaten by Fiji.
Fiji produced the best rugby of the weekend and they may disagree with the assessment that there was no fairytale ending in Cape Town but so much more is expected of the nation who have so entertained in the Sevens format over the years.
There was nothing wrong with the World Series Sevens event hosted on the tip of Africa per se but we didn’t get the romantic ending we had hoped for so we are sulking.
The rugby gods have been very inconsiderate in the results offered up but there are lessons to be learned from the experience for the Blitzboks who have a long World Series campaign ahead of them and one in which they will have to make their own magic. Perhaps that is the biggest lesson of all.
Watch: Cape Town Sevens highlights 2018
Cape Town Sevens – finals day highlights