Fiji beat South Africa 21-19 in a thrilling cup
final on Sunday, to claim their first ever HSBC Sydney Sevens title.
Fiji nearly had the dream start in their first Cup
final of the season, but JC Pretorius and Selvyn Davids managed to
hold Meli Derenalagi over the line. It would only be a temporary
respite, though, because as the rain began to fall again the ball
skewed out the side of a breakdown and Napolioni Bolaca reacted
quickest to score the opening try.
A barnstorming run from Zain Davids created the
momentum for Pretorius to score with Fiji suffering a double blow
with Josua Vakurunabili yellow-carded for a tackle earlier in the
move. Fiji managed to hold out in his absence and then increased
their advantage when a powerful hand-off from Bolaca gave him the
space to run-in his second of the final.
Zain Davids crossed for South Africa midway
through the second half but his namesake Selvyn was unable to add
the conversion, leaving the Dubai champions trailing by two
points. They were unable to find another score, Fiji and their
huge contingent of fans in the crowd able to celebrate after South
Africa knocked on in their own 22 with the final play.
Fiji captain Derenalagi said, “First of all I
would like to thank the almighty Lord for giving us the strength
and the power to come and deliver what we have been planning. Before we entered the field the message I told my
team was just to go out there, enjoy it and do the job. We
delivered that and I want to thank the soldiers behind me for that
great effort you saw here today. Shout out to all the fans here in Sydney for
coming out in numbers and for supporting your national team – this
win is for you too.”
New Zealand still the lead the standings with 76
points after four of the 10 rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens
Series 2020, although now only by nine from South Africa. France
are third on 56 points, just ahead of England (54) and Sydney
champions Fiji (53).
The next stop on the men’s series will be the HSBC
LA Sevens at Dignity Health Sports Park on 29 February to 1 March
– the newest destination on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Set to be the largest rugby event in the United
States, the HSBC LA Sevens follows the Rugby World
Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco and will take place in the same
venue that will host rugby sevens at the 2028 Olympic Games.
Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
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
Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,
Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
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,
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.