Fiji take Tokyo Sevens title

Waisea Nacuqu scores a try with seconds remaining to seal a 33-26 win for Fiji in the final against South Africa.

    Fiji's second title of the season gives them a huge boost going into Hong Kong for the world series' main event [AFP]
    Fiji's second title of the season gives them a huge boost going into Hong Kong for the world series' main event [AFP]

    Waisea Nacuqu scored a try with eight seconds left for Fiji to beat defending champions South Africa 33-26 in the Tokyo Sevens rugby final.

    Fiji's second title of the season gives them a huge boost heading to Hong Kong for the world series' main event next weekend.

    We are very excited because it keeps us in the race for the title, our goal for this season is to win the series and we have closed the points here.

    Osea Kolinisau, Fiji captain

    Fiji led 12-0 early in the final then had to score with seconds left to go into halftime at 19-19, after a half in which they mixed brilliant attack with errors that led to three South African tries and 19 straight points.

    Emosi Mulevoro and Samisoni Viriviri scored so quickly that the final looked like it might be a Fiji romp.

    But in 3.5 minutes, Kyle Brown began South Africa's comeback with a try from a Fiji dropped pass, Stephan Dippenaar dotted down after Frankie Horne sucked in defenders, and Justin Geduld scored from a turnover near Fiji's tryline.

    Then from the restart, Fiji showed their class, as Pio Tuwai flicked the ball back to Donasio Ratabuli, who caught the Africans' defence slow to come up, ran straight and sent Benito Masilevu away to the posts.

    Unlike the all-action first half, the second was mired in big tackles, errors and penalties, mostly in Fiji's half.

    Setefano Cakau scored from a counterattack for Fiji, and Geduld levelled for South Africa with a try from a grubber kick which rebounded kindly into his hands off the right post.

    Nacuqu scores winner

    Then with seconds left in regulation and Fiji passing deep in their own half, a high pass was flicked on by the tall Cakau straight to Nacuqu, which wrong-footed South Africa, and allowed Nacuqu to sprint in a wide left curve around the cover to score the winner.

    "We are very excited because it keeps us in the race for the title, our goal for this season is to win the series and we have closed the points here." Fiji captain Osea Kolinisau said.

    South Africa's fifth straight final appearance lifted them back atop the series standings, two points ahead of New Zealand, who lost 17-12 to Fiji in the semifinals, and 21-12 to England in the third-place playoff.

    SOURCE: AP


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