(ISN) – Fiji were outstanding in beating defending champions New Zealand 33-19 at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, round six of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Savenaca Rawaca scored two tries in the final, ending the tournament as leading try scorer alongside Zack Test with six, to also give coach Ben Ryan his first taste of victory at the iconic Hong Kong, which was celebrating its 40th anniversary.
The win puts Fiji just two points behind South Africa (110) in the overall series standings with 108 points, and one point ahead of third-placed New Zealand (107), with Australia (84) and England (78) rounding out the top five as the race for Olympic qualification continues.
“This victory is certainly up there,” Fiji’s coach Ben Ryan, who won his first-ever Hong Kong title, said. “We are now pushing hard for top place, we’re moving away from that Olympic qualification and it’s great for the people back home as Hong Kong means so much to them. It’s perhaps a monkey off my back as well so I am delighted.”
Russia qualify for 2015-16 World Series
While the top teams played out main event in Hong Kong, 12 regional qualifiers battled it out for one ever-present core team place on next season’s 2015/16 series, with Russia emerging victorious after beating Zimbabwe in the final thanks to a last-minute winning try from Vladimir Ostrouskho.
“This means a lot, it allows our players to play more valuable games and gain experience and the win will be a motivation for the younger players too,” said captain Dmitriy Perov.
“Also a win like this will attract the fans and those involved with our sport, showing them we can win competitions and get to the World Series.”