Fiji Beats New Zealand To Take Hong Kong Rugby Sevens

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Fiji moves a step closer to qualifying for 2016 Olympics

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, March 30, 2015) – Fiji won the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens on Sunday, tearing through defending champions New Zealand 33-19 in a powerful display.

With the backing of a roaring Hong Kong Stadium crowd, Fiji made up for last year's heartbreaking semi-final loss to England, and went one step closer to qualifying for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

New Zealand struggled to get into the match as Fiji pounded through the defence. The All Blacks were down 21-5 at half-time after Savenaca Rawaca put two tries on the board.

The New Zealanders pushed through with a pair of tries from Scott Curry, but the Fijians kept finding gaps and a surge down the left wing by Vatemo Ravouvou sealed the match.

It was his international sevens debut at the age of 23.

Fiji has the most-ever wins at the Hong Kong Sevens, with Sunday's match their 15th triumph.

"I'm delighted," said coach Ben Ryan.

"We were accurate, we controlled things and made good decisions. We looked like a disciplined side.

"Last year was my lowest point in this sport (after defeat by England) and now is probably my highest."

The top four teams in the Sevens World Series will secure a place in Brazil, where sevens rugby will make its Olympic debut.

Hong Kong - celebrating its 40th edition this year - is the sixth tournament in the nine-stage series, which ends in London in May.

New Zealand had only narrowly edged Samoa 15-14 to book their place in the final, while Fiji put on an impressive show against series leaders South Africa to win their semi 21-15.

South Africa went on to beat Samoa 26-5 in the play-off for third.

Fiji only just pushed past England 14-12 earlier in the day in an intense quarter-final which went down to the wire.

Australia beats United States to take plate

England and Australia are tussling for the crucial fourth spot in the series standings with three tournaments to go.

South Africa, New Zealand and Fiji are well ahead on points in the top three spots.

Australia fell to South Africa 7-5 in their quarter-final but beat England in the runners-up plate tournament.

The Australians then took the plate final, beating USA 21-17 in a phenomenal battle against the surging speed of their opponents.

With the plate victory the Australians - currently fourth-placed in the series standings - extended their points gap over England in fifth.

Of the lower-ranked trophies, Kenya took the shield by beating Japan 26-7 and Scotland won the bowl, downing France 26-5.

Russia won the qualifier tournament and will play as one of the 15 top-ranked "core" teams in the next world series.

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