Sevens

South Africa reinforce lead by thumping Fiji 26-5 in Wellington final

The in-form South African side cemented their position at the top of the rugby sevens ladder by defeating Fiji 26-5 in the final of the Wellington leg of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens Series.

Staff Writers

January 29, 2017 7:15 pm

The win sees the Blitz Boks leading the series table with 63 points, Fiji moving into the second position with 51 and England at third with 49.

(World Rugby)
(World Rugby)

New Zealand slips down one position as Scotland moves to fourth with 44 points.

The South Africans won only their second Wellington title since beating Fiji in the final in 2003.

They finished off a near flawless tournament by remaining unbeaten and only conceding points against Fiji.

Second Half

Rosko Specman put South Africa further in front by striking early in the second half; South Africa led 14-5.

Ruhan Nel scored soon after, scoring at the right corner; South Africa led 19-5.

Nel scored another try at the end of the second half to seal the deal.

First Half

Senatla retaliated after Bituniyata was sent to the sin-bin, South Africa led 7-5 at halftime.

Joeli Lutumailagi opened the scoring midway in the first half by sprinting across the left flank, Fiji led 5-0.

Photo by World Rugby.
Photo by World Rugby.

Fiji overpower Scotland 19-12 to progress to final

The Vodafone Fiji Sevens team defeated Scotland 19-12 in the cup semi-final of the 2017 Wellington Sevens, moving on to the Cup final against South Africa at 7.30 pm today.

Scotland's Mark Robertson scores against Fiji at the HSBC Wellington Sevens on 29 January, 2017, round three of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17. Photo credit: Michael Lee @ KLC fotos/ World Rugby.
Scotland’s Mark Robertson scores against Fiji at the HSBC Wellington Sevens on 29 January, 2017, round three of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17. Photo credit: Michael Lee @ KLC fotos/ World Rugby.

Veitokani weaved through Scotland’s defence late in the second half to put Fiji in front by 14-12 before a last-minute try put the result beyond doubt.

Scotland struck first with a try midway through the first half.  Fiji responded promptly but went into the break trailing by 12-5 after Scotland scored a late try.

Fiji defeat New Zealand 26-10 in quarterfinal

The Vodafone Fiji Sevens team defeated New Zealand 26-10 in the second quarter-finals of the 2017 Wellington Sevens, moving on to the Cup semi-finals against Scotland at 4.16pm today.

Dylan Collier of New Zealand attacks the Fiji defence during the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Cup Quarter Finals match at Westpac Stadium on 29 January, 2017. Photo: Michael Lee @ KLC Fotos/World Rugby.
Dylan Collier of New Zealand attacks the Fiji defence during the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Cup Quarter-Finals match at Westpac Stadium on 29 January 2017. Photo: Michael Lee @ KLC Fotos/World Rugby.

New Zealand had numerous chances to score in the second half but poor handling at crucial times let them down.

Lutuimailagi sprinted 60 meters to score the first try of the match and repeated the feat minutes later to take the score up to 14-0.

Nippy Jerry Tuwai sprinted from the base of a scrum to make it 19-0.  DJ Forbes pulled back a try on the stroke of half-time to make the score 19-5 at half-time.

Veremalua scored a try late in the second half to seal New Zealand’s fate.  Mickelson pulled one back in the dying seconds of the second half to make the final score 26-10.

Fiji go down 31-12 to South Africa in final pool match

The Vodafone Fiji Sevens team lost their final pool match 31-12 against South Africa on the first day of the Wellington 7s today but still move on to the quarter-finals tomorrow as runner-up in Pool B.

Justin Geduld of South Africa flicks a pass away against Fiji at the HSBC Wellington Sevens on 28 January, 2017, round three of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17.
Justin Geduld of South Africa flicks a pass away against Fiji at the HSBC Wellington Sevens on 28 January, 2017, round three of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17.

South Africa scored in quick succession to lead 17-7 at half time.

Ravouvou was sin-binned early in the first half for a second consecutive high tackle.

The Cup quarter-finals begin at 11.38 am tomorrow.

Fiji thrash Japan 56-0 to set up thriller against South Africa

The Vodafone Fiji Sevens side proved too strong for a shell-shocked Japanese team by piling on 56 unanswered points in their second Pool B encounter.

Sevuloni Mocenacagi of Fiji beats the Japan defence to score a try in the match between Fiji and Japan during the 2017 Wellington Sevens at Westpac Stadium on January 28, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images).
Sevuloni Mocenacagi of Fiji beats the Japan defence to score a try in the match between Fiji and Japan during the 2017 Wellington Sevens at Westpac Stadium on January 28, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images).

Fiji led 28-0 at half time after tries to Kolinisau, Nasoko, Mocenacagi, and Tuwai.  The scoring continued in the second half with tries to Ravouvou, Nasilasila, Viriviri, and Lutumailagi.

Fiji plays South Africa next at 6.18pm.

Fiji dumps Australia 26-12 after slow start

The Vodafone Fiji 7s team defeated Australia 26-12 in their first pool match in the 2017 Wellington 7s tournament today.

Australia's Henry Hutchison evades Jasa Veremalua of Fiji to score on day one of the HSBC Wellington Sevens on 28 January, 2017 - round three of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17. Photo: Michael Lee @ KLC Fotos/World Rugby.
Australia’s Henry Hutchison evades Jasa Veremalua of Fiji to score on day one of the HSBC Wellington Sevens on 28 January 2017 – round three of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17. Photo: Michael Lee @ KLC Fotos/World Rugby.

In a tight contest, Australia led 12-5 at halftime through tries to Alex Gibbon and Henry Hutchison before the power of the Fijians came to the fore.

A Fijian team missing several of their Rio heroes pulled away late after tries to Joeli Lutumailagi, Alivereti Veitokani and captain Osea Kolinisau.

Kolinisau scored off brilliantly worked move.

Fiji is in Pool B with South Africa (6.18pm), Australia (10.43am), and Japan (2.10pm).

The Wellington leg of the World Sevens Series kicked off with poor crowds again dominating the build-up to the two-day event.

The tournament was once the hottest ticket in the New Zealand capital and tickets for both days at the 35,000-capacity Westpac Stadium sold out within minutes.

This weekend’s Wellington Sevens also marks the start of a new era for the Samoa and Fiji teams.

Sir Gordon Tietjens takes charge of Samoa for the first time after 22 years coaching New Zealand, while Gareth Baber takes the reins of the defending Olympic and World Series champions

The future of the tournament is in doubt as critics believe the Wellington event had “reached the end of its life-cycle”.

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