Fiji defend Gold Coast crown
Sun, 14 Oct 2012 09:58
I know that we have seven new players but I trusted the boys
Fiji defeated New Zealand 32-14 in the Cup final of the Gold Coast Sevens to successfully defend their title and claim the first Cup of the World Series.
The Fijians had seven debutants in their squad but were far too strong for New Zealand, who also fielded a young side but were made to look second rate for much of the final.
"I'm so proud of the boys, they did so well this afternoon," Fiji captain Levani Botia said.
'I know that we have seven new players but I trusted the boys and I knew that they could come here and make the tackles."
Lightning quick outside back Ratu Alipate Raitini scored a hat-trick, while Joji Raqamate grabbed a double for the defending champions.
Fiji had earlier stunned tournament favourites South Africa 21-10 in the semi-finals and they were out of the blocks early in the decider, drawing first blood when Raitini crossed in the corner two minutes from the kick-off.
The All Blacks responded immediately when Tim Mickleson took advantage of a perfect bounce from a kick ahead and raced 50 metres to score out wide, with Tomasi Cama's conversion giving New Zealand a 7-5 lead.
But two quick tries to Raitini and Botia put the defending champions out to a thoroughly deserved 17-7 lead at the break.
They jumped out to 22-7 when Raitini scored his third, a brilliant effort that began deep in his own 22.
The romp continued almost from the restart when Raqamate kicked ahead and regathered over the line as the Fijians continued to delight the crowd with the audacity of their attacking play.
New Zealand tried to come back and pressed hard when Apisalome Waqatabu was off the field with a yellow card, but the Fijians held firm.
Kylem O'Donnell crossed to get the Kiwis closer, only for Ilai Tinai and Raqamate to score five pointers and underline the Fijians' dominance.
South Africa thumped surprise packets Kenya 41-5 in the third place play-off, while Argentina overcame France 14-7 in the plate final.
Spain beat England for the first time 19-14 to win the bowl final and Scotland won the shield with a 40-5 win over the US.
All the results from Day Two:
Fiji 32-14 New Zealand
South Africa 41-7 Kenya
Argentina 14-7 France
Spain 19-14 England
Scotland 40-5 United States
New Zealand 15-5 Kenya
Fiji 21-10 South Africa
Argentina 17-14 Australia
France 21-7 Samoa
Spain 26-17 Wales
England 24-19 Canada
Scotland 33-0 Portugal
USA 33-26 Tonga
South Africa 26-14 France
Fiji 19-7 Samoa
New Zealand 12-7 Argentina
Kenya 21-14 Australia
Canada 31-0 Portugal
England 35-7 Scotland
Wales 27-19 USA
Spain 24-7 Tonga
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