Fiji clinch Singapore title in HSBC 7s return

Fiji ended South Africa’s unbeaten six-tournament streak enroute to the main final where they beat New Zealand 28-17 to win the Singapore title, their first series title in two years.

The side scored four tries in the win, two of which were by man of the match, Vuiviawa Naduvalo who scored one in each half, to help the Olympic champions to their first title since the Sydney tournament in 2020.

Their win ended South Africa’s unbeaten run. Leading up to Singapore, South Africa had won all four rounds of the HSBC World Rugby 7s Series 2022 whilst Fiji did not enjoy a strong start and then had miss rounds three and four in Spain.

However, in Singapore, Fiji rose to the occasion, making the quarter-final cut after surviving a 21-12 loss to Ireland in their opening pool game. In the quarters, they edged favourites South Africa 19-14 before accounting for Australia 12-19 in the semi-final.

In the main final, Vuiviawa Naduvalo started the scoring, with his ninth try of the weekend after two minutes to give Fiji the lead. Kaminieli Rasaku converted. Waisea Nacuqu then scored – and converted – Fiji’s second try for a 14-0 lead. Just before the break, Joseva Talacolo scored Fiji’s third try, converted by Rasaku.

New Zealand needed the first try in the second half to give themselves any hope and a score came from Regan Ware, but it was not converted. With Jerry Tuwai pulling the strings, Fiji’s fourth try came through Naduvalo, his 10th. Rasaku converted.

A Moses Leo try – converted by Akuila Rokolisoa – and then an unconverted effort from Caleb Tangitau for New Zealand made the final score 28-17. 

Fiji captain Tevita Daugunu said:  “It was a very good final. We knew we had to keep the ball away from New Zealand and for most of this final we did just that.

“The team stuck to the game plan perfectly and with it being Palm Sunday back home we hope this has made our family, friends and supporters happy.”

Player of the Final Naduvalo, who scored 10 tries over the course of the weekend said:  “I am so happy, it has taken a lot of sacrifice for me to get this far and that is why I was so emotional during our national anthem. This victory is for my family, they are my ‘why’, they drive me on and I want to make them proud.”

New Zealand captain Sam Dickson said: “We can be proud of our efforts. We had five debutants in this tournament and they all did extremely well and did the black jersey proud so we will take a lot away from it.

“The good thing about the Sevens Series is we have got another tournament next weekend and we will be ready to go again in Vancouver, which is one of our favourite tournaments and we will be looking to repeat our winning performance last time we were there in 2020.”

New Zealand finished runners-up from their first outing of the 2022 Series while Australia beat Ireland 21-19 to finish third and remain in contention for the 2022 Series title.

South Africa however remain series leaders with 98 points, ahead of Australia and Argentina tied second on 83 points. Fiji are seventh on the standings on 46 points behind the US, Ireland, and France.

This week, all 16 men’s teams move on to Vancouver for the HSBC Canada Sevens on 16-17 April, the women’s Series returns to action in Langford, Canada on 30 April to 1 May.

Photo: World Rugby

Foodie Night 1327x198 ad(1)
Top Stories