Fiji wrap up thrilling Hong Kong victory
March 25, 2012
Fiji's Waisea Nayacalevu crashes over to score against New Zealand © Getty Images
Fiji produced a thrilling display to beat New Zealand 35-28 in the final of the Hong Kong Sevens on Sunday.
The Islanders cut loose to seal victory in the code's showpiece event, closing the gap on New Zealand in the IRB Sevens World Series standings to two points.
After an emotional national anthem, Fiji wasted little time in attacking their great rivals, scoring a wonderful try after a minute through Waisea Nayacalevu, who finished with a brace.
New Zealand remained in the hunt thanks to Mark Jackman's double, but with skipper Setefano Cakau, Nikola Matawalu and Joeli Lutumailagi also crossing, Fiji were able to pull through.
Jackman saw yellow for a dangerous tackle in the second-half and while Gordon Tietjens' side scored late on through Bryce Heem and Waisake Naholo, they could not match the fire of the victors.
Fiji defeated England 14-7 in the semi-finals, with Ben Ryan's side then routed 28-0 by South Africa in the third-place play-off. New Zealand defeated the Blitz Boks 19-12 in the last four.
There was also reason to celebrate for Canada, Spain and Portugal, who all secured core status for next year's series, meaning that they will be present at every leg of the tournament.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament