Samoa claim IRB Sevens Series crown
May 30, 2010
Samoa celebrate winning the Edinburgh 7s title at Murrayfield © Getty Images
Samoa produced a ruthless performance to overcome Australia and claim not only the Edinburgh 7s title but also the IRB Sevens Series crown.
Assured of this season's overall title following an epic extra time victory over England in the semi-finals, Samoa fell behind to a try from Australia's Jacob Taylor just 15 seconds into the Cup Final but they bounced back with tries from Mikaele Pesamino, Reupena Levasa and Uale Mai to take a 17-7 half-time lead.
Outstanding Australia captain James Stannard pulled one back after the break but again it was Pesamino who restored the lead. Fautua Otto grabbed a quickfire brace to put the match and the Edinburgh title beyond doubt and then Pesamino rounded off a season of extraordinary personal achievement by sealing his hat trick and the 41-14 win, to take his own tally for the season to 56.
Earlier, Samoa beat England 15-12 with a drop goal penalty by their captain Lolo Lui in the last seconds of extra time to win a heart-stopping semi-final match and land the IRB Sevens World Series title.
In one of the finest matches in living memory, Afa Aiono put the Samoans ahead but Tom Powell levelled up after the break. Mikaele Pesamino looked to have given the Samoans the win and the Series but Greg Barden scored to level it up. Ben Gollings missed the conversion and the game went into extra time. As the tension mounted Lolo Lui missed with a long range drop goal and England withstood concerted Samoan pressure. Not until the last second of extra time did Samoa work a position where Lolo Lui was able to opt for a penalty drop goal, which he cooly slotted to land Samoa their first ever World Series crown.
Australia then responded to the electric atmosphere by coming through in another superb match against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand, 24-19.
Earlier, Samoa put in a much better performance to beat South Africa 19-0 and put themselves one win away from a first World Series title. Nick Royle broke Scottish hearts by helping England come from behind to beat the hosts. In the other side of the draw Stannard was again at his best as Australia came from behind to beat Fiji. New Zealand were then hugely impressive in seeing off spirited Argentina 26-0.
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