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Hamilton Sevens: Fiji overturns South Africa in final

Hamilton Sevens: Fiji overturns South Africa in final

The crowds packed the stands at FMG Stadium Waikato for the titanic semifinal tussle Hamilton had been waiting for - and the contest of the two great rugby sevens nations produced an outstanding encounter worthy of the occasion.

Fiji won the Hamilton series after overcoming South Africa 24-17 in a thrilling game.

New Zealand got knocked out by Fiji, but in turn, potentially should have been knocked out by Samoa.

Australia's Lachie Anderson completed the line-up.

The next tournament in Las Vegas, the fifth of 10 stops on the World Series circuit, begins on March 2.

It was a solid day for Clark Laidlaw's troops.

In the bronze medal match, Australia got up to beat New Zealand 8-7 with a match-winning penalty drop goal after the hooter kicked by James Stannard rubbing salt into Kiwi wounds. "I can't wait for our 2019 Sevens tournament, and I think a lot of the people here this weekend will be back next year".

"We just said at half-time we're capable of scoring from anywhere, just believe in what we do, trust it and at that stage we didn't know we were going to win the game".




New Zealand were second in the series standings before Hamilton with one tournament success in Cape Town after three legs.

New Zealand needed a last-gasp try to Joe Ravouvou to snatch a 17-12 win over Argentina, semifinalists in Sydney last weekend, and to clinch top place in its pool.

William Ambaka's try stretched Kenya's lead to 33-14 and they safely held on despite conceding a late try.

They also beat Scotland 33-19 in fifth place semi.

England took an early lead, but it was Samoa who finished the half stronger with two tries for a 12-5 lead at the break.

"We were 0-0 at half time versus Australia, but this was a response to starting loosely in the Fiji match", Williams explained.

In Hamilton, Kenya beat both Samoa and Canada with identical 19-14 margins in pool matches, drew 19-19 with U.S., before losing 33-12 to Australia in Cup quarters.

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