Fiji came from 7-0 behind to win the opening round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, beating England 28-17 in a pulsating final at 7he Sevens Stadium in Dubai.
Tom Bowen had given Simon Amor’s side an early lead but Fiji turned on the style scoring four unanswered tries to give them only their second-ever Dubai title, and first since 2013, despite a late comeback from the 2010 and 2011 Dubai champions.
Ben Ryan tasted victory in Dubai for a fourth time in six years as he saw his side in scintilating form all day, beating New Zealand 19-5 with tries from Viliame Mata, Pio Tuwai and Jasa Veremalua in the semi-finals, and Australia 19-12 in their quarter-final with tries from Isake Kotanibau, captain Osea Kolinisau and Savenaca Rawaca.The win puts Ben Ryan’s side on top of the series standings with 22 points, ahead of England (19), USA (17) and New Zealand (15). South Africa won the Plate, France took the Bowl and the Shield went to Canada.”It is an amazing feeling when you get to win a tournament, especially in Dubai in front of so many fans,” said captain Kolinsau. “There’s a feeling of relief in the team.
“The game of sevens is getting harder. There are no easy games ahead and we are grateful to have won here.”
The USA, who made history on day one with their first-ever win over New Zealand, showed it wasn’t fluke with a second win in as many matches against Sir Gordon Tietjens’s side in the third place play-off. Will Holder scored twice, and tries from Folau Niua, Kevin Swiryn and Perry Baker put the icing on the cake for Mike Friday.