Sevens

Blitzboks stunned by Fijian comeback in Hamilton final

2018-02-04 09:26
Kwagga Smith (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Fiji have beaten the Blitzboks in the Hamilton Sevens final, launching a stunning second half fightback to win 24-17

Fiji were on the back foot early in the first half with Josua Vakurunabili sent to the sin-bin in the 1st minute after a deliberate knock-down.

The Blitzboks made their extra man count in the 3rd minute, working space on the left to send Kwagga Smith over in the left-hand corner for an unconverted try and a 5-0 lead. 

Fiji hit back straight from the kick-off with brilliant long range effort that saw Alosio Naduva get over near the posts for a unconverted try to tie the scores up at 5-5 in the 4th minute. 

And the action continued at breakneck speed with Blitzboks captain, Kyle Brown next to score in the right-hand corner.

The try again was unconverted but the Blitzboks led 10-5. 

Poor tackling by Fiji saw the Blitzboks score as the hooter sounded for half-time with veteran Branco du Preez getting over near the uprights.

Afrika converted to give the Blitzboks a healthy 17-5 lead at the break. 

Fiji need to score first in the second half and they did after a brilliant overhead pass saw Naduva score his second try of the final.

Amenoni Nasilasila converted to cut South Africa's lead to just five points.

South Africa were then down a man as Du Preez was sent to the bin tackling for a Fijian player without the ball. 

Naduva sealed his hat-trick after some excellent defence following a Werner Kok break out from the South African line.

Fiji managed to turn the ball over and made their extra man count as they hit the lead 19-17 with two minutes to play.

The Islanders put the game beyond the Blitzboks with their fourth try from Eroni Sau to lead 24-17 with a few seconds to play.

Hamilton erupted at the final whistle having witnessed an incredible comeback in a pulsating final.

Results from the World Sevens Series fourth leg in Hamilton on Sunday:

Quarter-finals

Fiji 12 Samoa 10

New Zealand 19 England 12

Australia 33 Kenya 12

South Africa 22 Scotland 0

Semi-finals

Fiji 14 New Zealand 12

South Africa 24 Australia 5

Bronze Medal playoff

Australia 8 New Zealand 7

Final

Fiji 24 South Africa 17

Read more on:    blitzboks  |  hamilton sevens  |  sevens  |  rugby
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