South Africa denied Fiji back-to-back titles in
Singapore with a dramatic 20-19 victory in the Cup Final at the
National Stadium on Sunday.

England claimed the bronze medal with a vital
victory over the USA, who remain series leaders, on a weekend when
none of the top teams were able to take the opportunity to secure
a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Blitzboks, who have only won two of their 30
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Cup titles in Asia, scored 20 unanswered points to complete
a remarkable comeback in
the final.


South Africa denied Fiji back-to-back titles in Singapore with a dramatic 20-19 victory in the Cup Final at the National Stadium on Sunday. Picture of South Africa in action against the USA in Hong Kong a week earlier. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Fiji flew into the lead in the opening seven
minutes, looking unstoppable, as Aminiasi Tuimaba, Napolioni
Bolaca and Vilimoni Botitu made their intensity count on the
scoreboard. And with a 19-0 cushion, it looked as if Fiji would
retain the title that they won 12 months ago.

Youngster Kurt-Lee Arendse commenced the Blitzboks’ fightback, the HSBC
Player of the Final Angelo Davids followed alongside Ryan Oosthuizen one minute later. In the final seconds, South Africa
remained two points down before Selvyn Davids scored a late
penalty and they held Fiji out to complete the job.

England equalled their best finish since Sydney by securing the
bronze medal with a 28-7 victory over the USA.

The match
was a passionate affair and both sides saw yellow cards in the
first half, including two for Joe Schroeder (deliberate knock-on
and a dangerous tackle). The USA held firm and forced England to
go well beyond normal time in order to gain an advantage. Simon
Amor’s side went into the pause 14-7 up and worked their numerical
advantage for the whole of the second seven minutes to create
their 21-point win and secure 17 crucial world series points.

An improving Samoa ensured that they finished in
fifth position with a 19-17 victory over New Zealand while France
secured the Challenge Trophy, awarded to the team finishing ninth, with a hard fought 22-19 victory
over Scotland.

The results mean that South Africa remain in
fourth place in the world series standings with 121 points but
open up a 14-point cushion over fifth-placed England with 107
points. Fiji, now on 142 points, cut the USA’s lead at the top of
the standings to just three points with New Zealand sitting in
third on 130 points. The top four at the end of the 2019 series
will qualify directly for Tokyo 2020.

The next stop on the Men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will
be London on 25-26 May before the series reaches its conclusion in
Paris, the following weekend on 1-2 June.

The women are
next in action as the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series heads
to Kitakyushu in Japan on 20-21 April for the fourth round of the
series, followed by the fifth round in Langford, Canada on
11-12 May.


Rugby pictures
:
Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Kong Sevens
,

Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
,

Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
,

Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Kong Sevens
,

Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015
,

Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
Kong
,

Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015
,

Pictures from the 2013 British Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong
,

Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014
,

Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013
,
Pictures
of Chartis Cup 2012
and
Pictures of
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012
.

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