Islanders deny Bok Sevens
31 May 2009
Fiji beat South Africa 20-19 in the Cup final of the Edinburgh Sevens.
South Africa, however, were earlier confirmed as the World Series winners when they made the quarter-finals.
It is the first year since the World Series’ inception that New Zealand has not triumphed.
In Sunday’s final, the Islanders went in front first through Emosi Vucago, but the World Series champs hit back immediately through Ryno Benjamin and Mzwandile Stick’s conversion gave the men in green a two point lead.
Fiji still looked the more threatening and scored twice before the end of the half to go into the break with a 15-7 lead.
Skipper Vereniki Goneva extended his side’s lead with an early second-half try and the game quickly looked to be slipping away from the Bok Sevens.
Two quick tries from Gio Aplon and Renfred Dazel reduced the gap to just a single point with two minutes to play, but in the end Fiji were able to hold on for a dramatic win which seas them leapfrog England into second place on the overall World Series standings behind Paul Treu’s men.
In the earlier semi-final Aplon’s extra-time try handed South Africa a dramatic 26-21 win over Scotland to book their place in the final.
The hosts started the better of the two sides and Sean Lamont scored under the posts to give his side a 7-0 lead. South Africa hit back straight away through Vuyo Zangqa after a powerful burst from the robust Frankie Horne.
Stick got his difficult conversion attempt spot on and the scores were level before Dazel scored a wonderful solo effort to give his side a 14-7 lead at the break.
The Scots hit back at the start of the second half to level matters before Greig Laidlaw scored Scotland’s third with just over two minutes left to hold out for a historical win.
But South Africa stuck to their task and Neil Powell’s wonderful cross-field grubber gifted Benjamin a try and Stick nailed his third conversion to take the game to extra time before Aplon broke Scottish hearts in extra time.
For a full list of results click here.