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