Blitzboks denied medal as NZ win gold at Commonwealth Games

England beat South Africa in the Commonwealth Games bronze medal match to deny the tournament favourites a medal. AP Photo/Rick Rycroft

New Zealand won gold in the Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens tournament but the major surprise was that South Africa didn't medal at all.

England beat the Blitzboks 21-14 at Robina Stadium to secure the bronze medal after coming back from 14-0 down at halftime to do so.

For South Africa it is a major disappointment after winning gold at the 2014 Games in Glasgow, finishing top of Pool A in Gold Coast and specifically separating their squad for this tournament and the Hong Kong Sevens a week ago.

South Africa opened the scoring in the first minute of the bronze medal match with Branco du Preez showing fantastic handling skills to pick up a loose pass and saunter over for a converted try.

Neil Powell's charges then added a second converted try on the stroke of half-time with Ruhan Nel the scorer to give the Blitzboks a 14-0 lead at the break.

England did exactly what they needed to in the second half by scoring first after Philip Burgess collected a knock down from the kick-off to go over unopposed and make the score 14-7.

They then tied up the match at 14-all when the Blitzboks fluffed a lineout on their own line, allowing Burgess to collect and crash over.

England held on to the momentum and then grabbed the lead a minute later with Tom Mitchell scampering away from the South African defence for another converted score and a 21-14 lead which they held onto to full-time.

It amounted to two disappoint results in a row, after a stirring second-half comeback was not enough for the Blitzboks when they lost 19-24, after extra-time, to Fiji in their semifinal clash.

Earlier, the South African women's team finished their competition -- also won by New Zealand -- in 8th place after narrowly losing to Wales, 19-14.