Monday Feb 5, 2018

Fiji defy belief with unbelievable display of skill in epic Hamilton 7s final

Fiji defy belief with unbelievable display of skill in epic Hamilton 7s final
5
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Fiji became the fourth different team to win an HSBC World Sevens title in as many events after claiming a stunning 24-17 come from behind victory over series leaders South Africa in Hamilton, New Zealand, last weekend.

Gareth Baber’s side had endured a lacklustre start to the 2017-18 campaign, by their high standards, but produced a masterful performance in a thrilling final against the Blitzbokke which went right down to the wire.

Both teams received yellow cards; Fiji lost Josua Vakurunabili after just 18 seconds while South Africa’s Branco du Preez’s two-minute suspension handed the initiative back to the Fijians late in the game.

South Africa touched down first with Kwagga Smith crashing over before Alasio Sovita Naduva hit back immediately after the restart. Two more tries from the Blitzbokke – from Kyle Brown and du Preez – helped South Africa take in a 17-5 half-time lead.

Naduva scored an absolute scorcher at the start of the second half after a sumptuous no-look pass from Kalione Nasoko left the crowd in awe as Fiji closed the gap to five points.

Despite Du Preez’s yellow card, South Africa, through the inspired Werner Kok almost went coast-to-coast to bury the match. But a magnificent counter-attack from Fiji – instigated by a fabulous turnover from Paula Dranisinukula – gave Naduva a hat-trick and a vital 19-17 lead.

Fiji capped off a miraculous game by adding another try from Eroni Sau in the closing seconds.

Despite their loss, South Africa remain on top in the series with 77 points, eight clear of New Zealand, with Fiji catching up on 62.

The next round takes place in Las Vegas (March 2-4)

Hamilton 7s final in full

Wonderful offload completes Naduva hat-trick

credit: world rugby

5 Comments

  •  vladimir
    vladimir

    Somewhere in Australia: 'Not good enough' (Campese).

    Reply
  •  moo
    moo

    Fiji winner after clock had gone dead, from behind their own sticks. Felt for Samoa. Tietjens has really made an impact. They were playing some really decent rugby.

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman

    I missed that one. The missus frowns upon me spending most of the weekend on the couch. Makes it hard for her to tell the kids they've had enough telly :)

    Reply
  •  moo
    moo

    The Fiji vs Samoa match in the quarters was ace too.

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman

    What a great final. I'm obviously disappointed that my side lost, but that second half performance by Fiji was unbelievable. Those final passes for the last two tries were just sublime. I used to be a little dismissive of Sevens (as I still am of T20 cricket) but I've changed my tune in recent years. I love it now.

    Reply

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Fiji defy belief with unbelievable display of skill in epic Hamilton 7s final | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos