Sevens

Fiji win London Sevens

2012-05-13 21:02
Setefano Cakau (File)

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.

When 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.

New 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.

The 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.

Fiji captain 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:

Cup

Quarter-finals

Samoa 22 Spain 7

Australia 7 Argentina 12

Fiji 21 England 14

New Zealand 36 South Africa 0

Semi-finals

Argentina 19 Samoa 21

New Zealand 7 Fiji 31

Third-place playoff

New Zealand 40 Argentina 0

Final

Fiji 38 Samoa 15

Plate

Semi-finals

Australia 17 Spain 12

South Africa 17 England 19

Final

England 12 Australia 14

Bowl

Quarter-finals

France 17 Zimbabwe 19

Scotland 21 Kenya 5

Wales 28 USA 19

Russia 17 Portugal 24

Semi-finals

Scotland 31 Zimbabwe 19

Portugal 26 Wales 28

Final

Wales 27 Scotland 5

Shield

Semi-finals

Kenya 14 France 17

Russia 12 USA 38

Final

USA 12 France 19

Read more on:    hsbc sevens world series  |  sevens  |  rugby
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