Twickenham - New Zealand was crowned sevens rugby
world series champion for the 10th time in 13 years but closest rival
Fiji imperiously won the London Sevens at Twickenham on Sunday.
New Zealand won its quarter-final 36-0 over defending London champion
South Africa, the Kiwis clinched the series title with an unassailable
points lead in the ninth and last tournament.
Fiji then blew away
the Kiwis in the semi-finals 31-7 for the second year in a row, and
mastered Samoa 38-15 in the final for its first London title since 2006.
Zealand, which won three tournaments along with Fiji this season, ended
up edging its Pacific neighbor by six points in the final standings.
England was third and Samoa fourth.
"It's pretty special," New
Zealand captain DJ Forbes said after his fourth series title. "We worked
extremely hard to get this one, and it just shows how competitive the
series is now.
"That quarter-final was probably our only complete
game of rugby. There was a lot of passion behind that game to make sure
we wrapped up the series."
They were no match for Fiji in the
semi-finals, however. Fiji led 12-0 at half-time then 26-0 before New
Zealand replied, and only then after Fiji's Levani Botia was sin-binned
for a high tackle. Even short a man, Fiji had the last say, with Waisea
Nayacalevu intercepting a New Zealand pass from the kickoff and scooting
55 meters to finish the match the way he started it, with a try.
final was an even affair until right on halftime, when Joji Baleviani
Raqamate burst away from two Samoans and ran 80 meters for Fiji's third
try and a 17-10 halftime lead.
The break was no respite for Samoa,
which buckled under Fiji pressure and conceded successive tries to
Metuisela Talebula, and a second to Joeli Lutumailagi. Alafoti Faosiliva
pegged a try back for Samoa, but Fiji substitute Ilai Tinai pounced on a
dropped Samoa pass for a last converted try.
Setefano Cakau said his team, which won the series opener in Australia
and the prized Hong Kong title, excelled all season.
"We came from fifth (last season) to second which is a big improvement for us," Cakau said. "We achieved our goals."
Results from the second and final day of the London Sevens, the final leg of the IRB's HSBC Sevens World Series, at Twickenham on Sunday:
Samoa 22 Spain 7
Australia 7 Argentina 12
Fiji 21 England 14
New Zealand 36 South Africa 0
Argentina 19 Samoa 21
New Zealand 7 Fiji 31
New Zealand 40 Argentina 0
Fiji 38 Samoa 15
Australia 17 Spain 12
South Africa 17 England 19
England 12 Australia 14
France 17 Zimbabwe 19
Scotland 21 Kenya 5
Wales 28 USA 19
Russia 17 Portugal 24
Scotland 31 Zimbabwe 19
Portugal 26 Wales 28
Wales 27 Scotland 5
Kenya 14 France 17
Russia 12 USA 38
USA 12 France 19