(April 11, 2022, 11:04 +07)
Fiji resumed the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in style with a stunning victory in Singapore.
The Olympic champions beat rivals New Zealand 28-17 in a thrilling final on Sunday to claim their first series title since Sydney in January 2020.
Australia beat Ireland 21-19 to clinch a hard-fought bronze medal and stay in contention for the 2022 series title.
Prior to Singapore, South Africa had won all four legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 so far – and six in total in a row – but at the National Stadium in Singapore, it was to be Fiji’s day.
Fiji win the Singapore Sevens 2022
After seeing their 36-game unbeaten streak come to an end on Saturday night against the United States in the group stage, series leaders South Africa lost again on Sunday to Fiji in the quarter-finals. cup and then face Argentina in the semi-finals for fifth place.
Argentina then beat the United States 42-24 in a highly entertaining fifth place play-off.
In a repeat of the Olympic final in Tokyo, which Fiji won 27-12 last year, matches between Fiji and New Zealand are often classics and Sunday’s final did not disappoint.
Vuiviawa Naduvalo scored his ninth try of the weekend after two minutes to put Fiji ahead in this one with the conversion of Kaminieli Rasaku. Waisea Nacuqu then scored – and converted – Fiji’s second try and they had a healthy 14-0 lead. Just before the break, Joseva Talacolo scored Fiji’s third try, converted by Rasaku, and the situation worsened for New Zealand as Leroy Carter was shown a yellow card.
New Zealand needed the first try in the second half to give themselves some hope and a score came from Regan Ware, but was not converted. With Jerry Tuwai pulling the strings, Fiji’s fourth try came via Naduvalo, his 10th of an incredible two days. Rasaku converted.
A try from Moses Leo – converted by Akuila Rokolisoa – then an unconverted effort from Caleb Tangitau for New Zealand made the final score 28-17.
“It was a very good final. We knew we had to keep the ball away from New Zealand and that’s exactly what we did for most of this final,” said Fiji captain Tevita Daugunu. “The team stuck to the game plan perfectly and with Palm Sunday coming home we hope it made our family, friends and supporters happy.”
Finals player Naduvalo, who scored 10 tries over the weekend, said: “I’m so happy, it took a lot of sacrifices to get this far and that’s why I was so emotional. during our national anthem. This victory is for my family, they are my ‘why’, they motivate me and I want to make them proud.”
Despite losing in Singapore, South Africa continue to top the series standings with 98 points in five of the nine rounds played in the 2022 series. The Blitzboks edge Australia and Argentina who are tied for second with 83 points.
All 16 men’s teams now travel to Vancouver for the sixth round of the 2022 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series at BC Place on April 16-17.
Rugby Pictures: Pictures from Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2019, Pictures from Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2018, Pictures from Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2017, Pictures from Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2016, Pictures from Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015, Photos from Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong, Photos from Singha Thailand Sevens 2015, Photos from British & Irish Lions Tour 2013 in Hong Kong, Photos from Hong Kong Sevens 2014, Photos from Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Photos of the Chartis Cup 2012 and
Photos from Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.