'PRETTY AWESOME'

Fiji, Australia end New Zealand dominance in Rugby World Cup Sevens

Victory for Olympic champions Fiji in South Africa is their first in 17 years but they move level with New Zealand, who won the last two tournaments, on three world titles.

In Summary

• “It was a huge performance, the boys have been fantastic the whole weekend,” Fiji’s English coach Ben Gollings said.

• England — who were runners-up in the last two men’s tournaments — finished ninth, while Wales were 15th and Scotland 16th.

Fiji players pray before during a match.
Fiji players pray before during a match.
Image: FILE

Fiji claimed the men’s title and Australia won the women’s as New Zealand’s dominance in the Rugby World Cup Sevens was ended in South Africa.

Tenika Willison missed a last-minute conversion as Australia beat New Zealand 24-22 to draw level with their opponents with a second world title.

Fiji were out of sight by half-time in the men’s final, building a 24-5 lead. Akuila Rokolisoa hit back for New Zealand after the break but Pilipo Bukayaro sealed victory late on.

Victory for Olympic champions Fiji at South Africa 2022 is their first in 17 years but they move level with New Zealand, who won the last two tournaments, on three world titles overall.

The win represented a welcome change in fortune from the disappointment of losing the Commonwealth Games final to South Africa in July.

“It was a huge performance, the boys have been fantastic the whole weekend,” Fiji’s English coach Ben Gollings said.

“Everyone knows us for an attacking game, but the key for us is also to stop the tries against us. Yesterday and today were huge defensive performances, the players have run themselves into the ground.

“We knew we let ourselves down in the Commonwealth Games final and we targeted this one.”

Ireland took bronze in the men’s tournament with a 19-14 win against Australia to equal their best finish at the tournament.

“We spoke about the 2009 squad today and doing it for them and for everybody back home,” Australia’s Charlotte Caslick said. “What we have achieved this year is pretty awesome.”

England - who were runners-up in the last two men’s tournaments - finished ninth, while Wales were 15th and Scotland 16th.

Like their male counterparts, New Zealand women failed in their bid to win a third successive World Cup.

France took bronze after Ireland beat England 26-10 in the seventh/eighth place play-off.

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