Fiji comeback stuns Wales

2013-03-24 14:50
Osea Kolinisau (AP)

Hong Kong - Fiji successfully defended their Hong Kong Sevens rugby title by coming from 19-0 down at half-time to beat Wales 26-19 in the final on Sunday.

Substitute Osea Kolinisau starred with three tries but Fiji's record-extending 12th Hong Kong title was tinged by controversy.

Halfway through a first half dominated by first-time finalists Wales, Lee Williams was spear-tackled onto his head by Ilai Tinai, who was lucky to be carded yellow and not red. In Tinai's absence, Wales scored their third try and was in command by the break.

But Fiji's replacements paid off, with a three-try blitz in less than three minutes. Kolinisau went over a minute after the restart, weaved past three defenders for his second, and Samisoni Viriviri scored from the kickoff to even the score.

With a minute left, a tap penalty from inside Fiji's half ended with Kolinisau scoring the winning try, converted by Emosi Mulevoro.

The result was a perfect kick start to Fiji's centenary year celebrations. The team entered under a cloud after captain Setefano Cakau ruptured ligaments in his left knee during training last week, but won successive Hong Kong titles for the first time since 1999.

Fiji also became the first two-time winners in the sevens world series this season after six tournaments.

Overall, Fiji jumped from fourth to second in the series standings behind arch rivals New Zealand, who Fiji also rallied to beat in the semi-finals 33-14 from 14-0 behind.

New Zealand finished third, crushing Kenya 36-5 to lead the series by a healthy 25 points over Fiji, and 29 over Samoa, the plate winnesr.

Wales routed Kenya 19-0 in the other semi-final.

The Tokyo Sevens will take place next weekend.

Results on Sunday from the Hong Kong Sevens, the sixth leg of the IRB world series:



Wales 28, Canada 14
Kenya 15, Portugal 12
Fiji 29, Australia 5
New Zealand 21, Samoa 14


Wales 19, Kenya 0
Fiji 33, New Zealand 14

Third Place

New Zealand 36, Kenya 5


Fiji 26, Wales 19



Canada 19, Portugal 14
Samoa 12, Australia 5


Samoa 12, Canada 7



Hong Kong 7, Argentina 5
United States 21, Scotland 12
South Africa 28, Spain 14
England 42, France 7


Hong Kong 20, United States 12
England 26, South Africa 14


England 42, Hong Kong 7



Argentina 12, Scotland 7, France 28, Spain 0


France 19, Argentina 14

Standings: (After 6 of 9 legs)

1. New Zealand, 113 points 2. Fiji, 88 3. Samoa, 84 4. South Africa, 78 5. Kenya, 72 6. Wales, 63 7. France, 62 8. Argentina, 55 9. Canada, 51 10. England, 50

Read more on:    sevens world series  |  sevens  |  rugby

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