FIJI TAKE TITLE

Fiji ran out 35-28 victors in the Hong Kong Sevens final over New Zealand to secure the title, having defeated England in the semi finals.

The final was just what would be expected from two of the most entertaining sides in the world game. It was played at a high level of intensity, was incredibly competitive and highly physical. The game was played with such competitiveness that New Zealand were reduced to 6 men after a yellow card to their double try scorer, Mark Jackman and the game ended with a punch up between all the players.

Fiji’s success in the final will be some conciliation for England, who disappointed throughout the tournament and initially felt Fiji were a side they should have beaten comfortably. England came close against the islanders in the 14-7 defeat before being hammered 28-0 by South Africa in the third place play off.

Ben Ryan, England’s head coach expressed their disappointment but was keen to emphasise the positives. “We’ve got a lot of learning still to do, We want to be the best and we need to make that next step up. We’re at the top table and are regularly the only northern hemisphere side to make the semi finals.”

The victory for Fiji was celebrated back at home and the islanders, who are regularly one of the best in the world when it comes to sevens will be even more excited than most by the inclusion of Sevens in the Olympics from 2016. For a nation the size of Fiji to compete, and regularly defeat the likes of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England is remarkable and the prospect of a possible Olympic Gold Medal for them will and does excite a nation where Sevens is the be all and end all of sport.