Fiji take fourth consecutive title in Hong Kong
Fiji’s 24-12 victory over Kenya in the final saw them take their fourth title in a row at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
Fiji secured their fourth consecutive title at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens after they beat Kenya 24-12.
In a repeat of last month’s final in Vancouver, Fiji ran in four tries to move within just three points of series leaders South Africa in the overall standings and take their third tournament win of the 2018 world series.
Two yellow cards in the first half for Kenya’s Collins Injera and Willy Ambaka allowed the Pacific islanders to take a 17-0 lead at half-time. Despite tries from Kenya’s Billy Odhiambo and Oscar Ouma in the second half, Fiji were uncatchable and cemented their reputation in Hong Kong as the team to beat.
“I’d like to thank my boys for the team effort and thank the Kenyan team for a good game,” said Fiji captain Jerry Tuwai. “Hong Kong is always special for us, we respect and honour the tradition that Fiji has with the Hong Kong Sevens.”
With Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 just over 100 days away, the seedings for the tournament will be confirmed on Wednesday as excitement builds for the competition in San Francisco on July 20-22.
The world series will head to Singapore on April 28/29 after stopping by the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next weekend.
Fiji 26-24 South Africa
Before the two sides took to the field, the experienced Tuwai and South Africa’s captain in Hong Kong, Dewald Human, shook hands and embraced. That great moment that set the tone for a thrilling semi-final and it was a semi-final of two halves.
The first belonged to the Blitzboks as Selvyn Davids put a hat-trick of tries on the board to Fiji’s sole score from Kalione Nasoko.
After the break, Baber’s side closed the 5-19 deficit through Samisoni Viriviri and Nasilasila. Nasilasila then put them 26-19 ahead.
The Blitzboks weren’t finished as Muller Du Plessis powered over with 47 seconds left. The conversion missed the mark and Fiji controlled the ball off the restart to book their place in the Cup final.
New Zealand 12-21 Kenya
In the second semi-final New Zealand immediately set out their stall through Amanaki Nicole. However, Collins Injera had a response with his 253rd try on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Both conversions were added and Injera finished the first seven minutes by accelerating in again to give his side a 14-7 advantage.
Kenya’s defence created their next try as a turnover near their own line was converted by Willy Ambaka going the length. New Zealand finished the game with the final say, Jona Nareki and Isaac Te Tamaki combined for one of the tries of the day, but the match belonged to Kenya.
Canada falls in consolation bracket final
Canada was relegated to the Challenge Cup consolation bracket after going 1-2 in pool play, but rebounded with a 45-0 drubbing of South Korea before edging Russia 19-12.
The Canadians’ quest for hardware, however, ended with a 33-7 loss to France.
The team now heads to Australia to compete at the Commonwealth Games.