Fiji outplay SA to take Sevens title

2013-12-02 00:00

DUBAI — Despite a courageous fightback in the second half, which saw them scoring three tries, the Springboks Sevens side were outplayed by Fiji, who deservedly won their first Dubai Sevens title on Saturday evening.

They beat South Africa 29-17 in an absorbing final after leading 19-0 at half time.

Fiji were the odds-on crowd favourites to lift the cup they have never managed to win in 14 attempts after their thrilling 44-0 semi-final win over New Zealand.

However, they were made to work for their success, especially in the second half, when a depleted but determined SA simply refused to give up.

Injuries ruled out a trio of South African players — Frankie Horne, Stephan Dippenaar and Jamba Ulengo — and they were made to play for two minutes without Justin Geduld after he was yellow carded for a deliberate knock down of the ball when a rampant Fiji were on the attack.

Benito Masilevu scored twice and when Saiminosi Viriviri crossed for their third try, Fiji were able to go into half time with a commanding 19-0 lead.

The Blitsbokke made fewer errors in the second half and finally managed to string a few moves together.

They grew in confidence and this allowed Sampie Mastriet, Chris Dry and Cheslin Kolbe to cross the try line.

Emosi Mulevoro scored Fiji’s fifth try to put the match out of reach of SA and in doing so capped a very successful weekend for the islanders.

SCORERS:

Fiji: tries: Benito Masilevu x 2, Samisoni Viriviri, Emosi Mulevoro, Leo Naikasau; c onversions: Emosi Mulevoro x 2

SA: tries: Chris Dry, Sampie Mastriet, Cheslin Kolbe; conversions: Cecil Afrika

RESULTS:

Final: South Africa 17-29 Fiji

Third-place Play-off: New Zealand 17-14 England

Semi-finals: New Zealand 0-44 Fiji, South Africa 26-12 England

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