Date
25 November 2017
Fiji supporters cheer for their team during the final match against New Zealand at the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament on March 29. Photo: Reuters
Fiji supporters cheer for their team during the final match against New Zealand at the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament on March 29. Photo: Reuters

Fiji win HK Rugby Sevens after beating New Zealand in final

Fiji won the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens on Sunday, beating defending champions New Zealand in a thrilling final and securing for the tiny Pacific Island nation a record 15th title.

With the backing of a roaring crowd, Fiji made up for last year’s semi-final loss to England and went one step closer to qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Agence France-Presse reported.

The All Blacks were down 21-5 at half-time after Savenaca Rawaca put two tries on the board.

The New Zealanders pushed through with a pair of tries from Scott Curry, but the Fijians kept finding gaps and a surge down the left wing by Vatemo Ravouvou sealed the match 33-19, the report said.

With Sunday’s triumph, Fiji has the most-ever wins at the Hong Kong Sevens, the most prestigious of the nine stops in the HSBC Sevens World Series.

“I’m delighted,” Fiji coach Ben Ryan said as he soaked up the celebratory atmosphere inside the packed Hong Kong Stadium.

“We were accurate, we controlled things and made good decisions. We looked like a disciplined side.

“Last year was my lowest point in this sport (after defeat by England) and now is probably my highest.”

South Africa beat Samoa 26-5 in a play-off for the third place.

The top four teams in the Sevens World Series will secure a place in Brazil, where sevens rugby will make its Olympic debut.

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RC

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