New champs as Fiji finish 5th/7th in Cape Town

Samoa’s men and New Zealand’s women ended the three-day Cape Town 7s event – and 2022 – in style, whilst Fiji’s representative teams finished fifth and seventh in their respective divisions.

The Samoans defeated New Zealand 12-7 in a nail-biting men’s Cup final whilst the Kiwi women avenged their loss in Dubai in the previous tourney with a convincing 31-14 win over Australia.

For Fiji’s men, a 29-5 win over Argentina ensured they finished fifth, thanks to tries from Josua Vakurinabili, Filipe Sauturaga, Manueli Maisamoa, Alasio Naduva and Paula Nayacakalou. Prior to that, they had beaten Uruguay 38-0 in the first fifth-place semi-final.

In the women’s competition, the Fijiana women finished seventh by defeating Canada 26-12 in the seventh-place play-off. Reapi Uluinasau scored two, with Ana Maria Naimasi and Alowesi Nakoci adding one each to secure the win.

Fiji on 40 points are fifth in the men’s standings, after three events, trailing behind leaders Samoa and South Africa on 47 points each and New Zealand and US tied in third place on 44 points.

The Fijiana are sixth in the women’s standings with 20 points, after two events, behind Australia and New Zealand atop the table on 38 points followed by USA in third on 32 points.

The four teams at the end of the season will qualify automatically for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series takes a break before returning to Hamilton, New Zealand on 21-22 January and Sydney, Australia on 27-29 January.

Hamilton 7s Pool
The men’s pools for Hamilton see Fiji grouped in Pool A with Samoa, France and Kenya. New Zealand are in Pool B with Great Britain, Australia and Tonga. Pool C includes the USA, Uruguay, Ireland and Japan. South Africa, winners in Dubai last weekend, are in Pool D with Argentina, Spain and Canada.

The women’s pools see the Fijiana drawn in Pool A with Olympic champions New Zealand, Great Britain, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Australia are in Pool B with France, Canada and Japan. The USA will be aiming for their third straight podium finish and are in Pool C with Ireland, Brazil and Spain.

Photo: World Rugby

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