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NZ SEVENS: DAY 2 - Fiji Claim Honours

Oceania Rugby, Sun Feb 4, 2018 7:34PM

Fiji celebrate after winning the Cup final match between Fiji and South Africa (Photo: Hannah Peters_Getty Images)

Jerry Tuawi’s side have followed through with their aim to ‘make up’ for last weekend in Sydney at the New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton this weekend claiming the Cup in a stunning 24-17 victory over current series champions South Africa. Fiji edged out Oceania neighbours Samoa (12-10) in the quarter final and New Zealand (14-12) in the semi on their way to the Cup Final. Three of the four Fijian tries were scored by HSBC Player of the Final Alasio Sovita Naduva with Eroni Sau delivery the fourth. Coach Gareth Baber was happy with the performance that saw Fiji take their first leg win since Hong Kong 2017 saying, “The team's character, belief and their love of their country came through and we knew we had the ability to score from anywhere. We had to believe in that and we got momentum in the tackle and in the contact areas.” 

 

After a solid win over Keyna (33-12) Australia were faced with a replay of last weekend’s decider against South Africa where the Blitzboks were able to rewrite the scoreboard taking the win 5-24 after a brilliant second half. Although unable to go back to back the team from Australia did claim 3rd over the home side New Zealand in a low scoring nail bitter 8-7. Coach Andy Friend said, “to beat them here (New Zealand) was a big moment for us and I was really, really proud of those boys” further adding “I think the boy shave got that genuine belief that they can beat any team in the world”.

 

Charlie Taylor (Australia) charges forward during the Bronze Medal against New Zealand (Photo: Hannah Peters_Getty Images)

An early win on day 2 against England (19-12) wasn’t enough to help the home side New Zealand to go all the way to the cup final. Tough, close losses to Fiji and Australia in true sevens style kept the All Black 7s out of medal contention. Despite going down to Fiji in the Cup Quarter Finals Manu Samoa Sevens improved from the Sydney 7s to finish 5th overall after victories over England (22-17) and Kenya (19-15).

 

Samoa's Laaloi Leilua dives over for the winning try against England (Photo: MICHAEL BRADLEY_AFP_Getty Images)

 

The Papua New Guinea Puk Puk’s have finished their invitational appearance at the HSBC Sevens World Series with an improved performance in Hamilton downing France in the Challenge Quarter Finals 35-0 before falling to the USA in the Challenge Semi Finals 42-12.

 

Puk Puk Celebrations during their win over France (Photo: ZoomFiji)

 

Following two tough rounds of the HSBC World Sevens Series Oceania Teams and some brilliant results all four core Oceania Teams still in the top 10 with New Zealand, Fiji and Australia in second, third and fourth place respectively and Samoa in ninth. Papua New Guinea sit above the only other invitational side Uganda which will give the Puk Puk’s some confidence ahead of the Commonwealth Games and leading into the Qualification event in Hong Kong.

 

For full details of the HSBC Sevens Series please click  HERE

Last updated: Sunday February 4, 2018 10:43PM
Author: Sarah Walker