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Hong Kong Sevens 2012 - Day Three - Fiji Wins!

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Notice: Our coverage of the 2012 Hong Kong Sevens is sponsored by the Regal Kowloon Hotel.

Fiji won a high scoring Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Final against arch rivals New Zealand to take its 13th title in Hong Kong. The Fijians had humbled everyone before them over the whole tournament and took the game straight to their opponents in a ferocious encounter.

Fiji were two tries up after only 4 minutes, but even a relatively inexperienced New Zealand team can’t be ruled out and they fought back to tie the scores, 14-14, at half time. A try by Stefano Cakau early in the second put Fiji back in front, and this was extended to 14 points by Nikola Matawalu’s score a few minutes later. A Bryce Heem try put New Zealand back in touch with 2 minutes to go, but Waisea Nayacalevu’s instant reply sealed it for Fiji despite a late consolation try for New Zealand.

An emotional Fiji coach, Alavereti Dere said he was “very, very happy” after winning at his first attempt as coach in Hong Kong and as such becoming one of a very few players to win the Hong Kong Sevens as a player and coach. Commenting on how close the match was, he commented, “I think we wanted it more than New Zealand in the last ten minutes.”

Looking ahead to next week’s event in Tokyo, Dere said, “it really sets us up for next week and maintains us in the top two places in the IRB Sevens rankings.”

Also in the Cup, South Africa defeated England, 28-0, to take 3rd place, winning convincingly with four unanswered tries.

Samoa won a close contest in the last minute with a try from Taulagi Afamasaga, to defeat Argentina 12-10 to take home the Plate competition. Earlier in the Bowl Final, Kenya held on to win 14-12 against a competitive USA team.

In the all important Qualifier event, Canada took the spoils beating Spain 22-5 with a hat trick of tries from Sean Duke. There was consolation for Spain though, as they along with Canada and third place winners, Portugal, won the three spots on offer to join the HSBC Sevens World Series next year, guaranteeing them competition against the best teams in the world at ten series events.

Unfortunately, host Hong Kong were not able to capitalise on the their good form from the first two days, as a red card for playmaker Keith Robertson early in the game, made it very difficult for them against Japan, who eventually won through 10-5 in extra time after a gallant effort by the Hong Kong team.

Pictures from the 2012 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens already uploaded: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6

See more from Day One, Day Two and Day Three, as well even more at: 2012 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

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