Golden try sinks Boks

Fiji beat South Africa 27-22 after extra time to capture their second successive IRB Sevens title in Wellington on Saturday.

The victory leaves Fiji on 56 points in the series, 16 clear of England and South Africa.

While Fiji were contesting their third Cup final of the year here in Wellington, South Africa were playing their first and, if Paul Treu’s men were slightly nervous, the Fijians capitalised fully with William Ryder the star of the first half.

The final was a great advert for the game, and also for the remarkable talents of William Ryder and the never-say-die attitude of Paul Treu’s men. Serevi’s young protege scored a try early on, which was cancelled out by a fine Fabian Juries effort, but responded with a fine run to the line for his second and then cut loose in midfield to give a mesmeric blind pass, which set free Dranivasa for his side’s third and a 17-5 half time lead.

The second period saw South Africa rally though, and Juries scored again before Ryder capped a thrilling display with his hat-trick with little over two minutes to go. But Burger pulled one back to make it 22-17 and then, in a thrilling climax, Gio Aplan went over to make it 22-22. Basson missed the conversion and golden try time followed.

Basson kicked clear and attacked and so nearly scored, but Serevi, now on the field, calmed his side, and looked for Neumi Nanuku, who first jinxed clear and then sprinted the length of the pitch beyond the despairing Basson. Fiji’s crown, 27-22.

Earlier in the day, hosts and defending champions New Zealand crashed out to Fiji in the semis.

Gordon Tietjens’ young side played their most impressive game of the tournament in beating Argentina 26-12 in the quarter-finals, but then were blown away 26-14 by the Fijians.

The Sevens Boks, who had earlier lost to the Argentineans 7-0 in the pool stages, bounced back to beat Samoa 17-12 in the semis and then hit their straps with a 28-5 demolition job of the French.

Cup quarter-finals:
New Zealand 26 (Lote Raikabula 2, Corey Jane, Zar Lawrence tries; Amasio Valence 3 con) Argentina 12 (Francisco Bosch, Pablo Gomez Cora tries; Marcelo Bosch con)
France 19 England 14
South Africa 17 Samoa 12
Fiji 21 Australia 14

Cup semfinals:
South Africa 28 France 5
Fiji 26 (Jone Daunivucu, Epeli Dranivasa, Neumi Nanuku 2 tries; 3 con) New Zealand 14 (Lote Raikabula, Nigel Hunt tries; Amasio Valence 2 con)

Bowl quarter-finals:
Canada 33 Papua New Guinea 10
Scotland 14 Niue 12
Kenya 15 Tonga 14
Cook Islands 43 USA 5

Bowl semifinals:
Scotland 52 Kenya 0
Canada 33 Cook Islands 10

Shield semifinals:
Tonga 21 Niue 14
Papua New Guinea 15 USA 12

Shield final:
Tonga 19 Papua New Guinea 14

Plate semifinals:
England 21 Samoa 17
Argentina 21 Australia 17

Plate final:
England 14 Argentina 10

Cup final:
Fiji 27 South Africa 22