Fiji created history by securing a fifth consecutive title in Hong Kong with a 21-7 victory over France in the Cup final at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, while USA claimed third place to maintain their lead in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings with three rounds remaining.
Over the course of three scintillating days of action played out in front of over 100,000 fans at the Hong Kong Stadium, Gareth Baber’s side enthralled the crowd as they achieved something that no other nation has ever done.
In the Cup final, Jerry Tuwai, who is the only current player to have played in all five of the finals, pulled the strings majestically while Aminiasi Tuimaba scored a brace and Vilimoni Botitu also crossed for a try.
After their silver medal in Vancouver, France continued their fine form by reaching their second successive Cup final in a season, something that they hadn’t achieved before.
They started at pace, however an early knock-on handed Fiji possession back and Baber’s outfit didn’t need a second invitation to fly. The rest of the half belonged to them as the HSBC Player of the Final Tuimaba, and Botitu, combined to cross twice with each setting the other up.
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) April 7, 2019
After the break Fiji’s 14-0 lead was tested when they went down to six players and France were awarded a penalty try. However, from 14-7, Fiji rallied and Tuimaba’s second try ultimately ensured that history would be created in front of a sold-out crowd.
“It’s a fantastic feeling and I’m sure that it will sink in over the next two or three days,” said Fiji’s head coach after the full-time whistle.
“I think that all of this has been in the backdrop of what happened in Christchurch, obviously our
hearts and our thoughts go out to all of those families and this is a dedication to them.”
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