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Mon, 15 April 2019

South Africa Beat Fiji to Win Singapore Sevens

South Africa denied Fiji back-to-back titles in Singapore with a dramatic 20-19 victory in the Cup Final at the National Stadium on Sunday.

England claimed the bronze medal with a vital victory over the USA, who remain series leaders, on a weekend when none of the top teams were able to take the opportunity to secure a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Blitzboks, who have only won two of their 30 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Cup titles in Asia, scored 20 unanswered points to complete a remarkable comeback in the final.

South Africa denied Fiji back-to-back titles in Singapore with a dramatic 20-19 victory in the Cup Final at the National Stadium on Sunday. Picture of South Africa in action against the USA in Hong Kong a week earlier. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Fiji flew into the lead in the opening seven minutes, looking unstoppable, as Aminiasi Tuimaba, Napolioni Bolaca and Vilimoni Botitu made their intensity count on the scoreboard. And with a 19-0 cushion, it looked as if Fiji would retain the title that they won 12 months ago.

Youngster Kurt-Lee Arendse commenced the Blitzboks' fightback, the HSBC Player of the Final Angelo Davids followed alongside Ryan Oosthuizen one minute later. In the final seconds, South Africa remained two points down before Selvyn Davids scored a late penalty and they held Fiji out to complete the job.

England equalled their best finish since Sydney by securing the bronze medal with a 28-7 victory over the USA.

The match was a passionate affair and both sides saw yellow cards in the first half, including two for Joe Schroeder (deliberate knock-on and a dangerous tackle). The USA held firm and forced England to go well beyond normal time in order to gain an advantage. Simon Amor's side went into the pause 14-7 up and worked their numerical advantage for the whole of the second seven minutes to create their 21-point win and secure 17 crucial world series points.

An improving Samoa ensured that they finished in fifth position with a 19-17 victory over New Zealand while France secured the Challenge Trophy, awarded to the team finishing ninth, with a hard fought 22-19 victory over Scotland.

The results mean that South Africa remain in fourth place in the world series standings with 121 points but open up a 14-point cushion over fifth-placed England with 107 points. Fiji, now on 142 points, cut the USA's lead at the top of the standings to just three points with New Zealand sitting in third on 130 points. The top four at the end of the 2019 series will qualify directly for Tokyo 2020.

The next stop on the Menís HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will be London on 25-26 May before the series reaches its conclusion in Paris, the following weekend on 1-2 June.

The women are next in action as the HSBC World Rugby Womenís Sevens Series heads to Kitakyushu in Japan on 20-21 April for the fourth round of the series, followed by the fifth round in Langford, Canada on 11-12 May.

Rugby pictures: Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015, Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong, Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015, Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Pictures of Chartis Cup 2012 and Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

See latest HD Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: Singapore, Rugby, Sevens.

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