Fiji Capture Cape Town Sevens, USA Takes Series Lead


The USA were again in the Cup Final, but again were beaten in the Cup Final. This time, to Fiji, 29-15, as they captured their first Cup Final in South Africa since 2005. It’s not all bad for the Eagles, though, as they leave Cape Town with the Series lead by a point over New Zealand who finished fourth. Fiji move to third with the Cup win—three points off the lead—and England are in fourth, eight points back of the USA. 

After the USA breezed by Japan, Spain, and Argentina in pool play; they came from behind to defeat England in the Cup Quarterfinals, 19-12, on a last-minute try by Danny Barrett. Barrett then had a highlight reel try against the All Blacks Sevens in the semifinal en route to a 31-12 win. 

However, it all came unglued against Fiji as two turnovers led to two Fijian tries and the game was well out of reach by the time the USA got it\s three tries. Kalione Nasoko and Player of the Final Vilimoni Botitu each had a pair of tries for Fiji.

“It’s been a long time coming, for the Fijians to win in Cape Town,” said Fiji coahc Gareth Barber. “We were disappointed last week that we didn’t manage to perform to the level that we’ve done this week.

“It makes me most proud that these players have done everything for their families back home and the country of Fiji. It’s great. Fijian fans are everywhere in the world, wherever we travel, and we say a big thank you to all those who make a big effort to come and support us.”

Werner Kok of South Africa. Photo: World Rugby

South Africa ended up taking bronze over New Zealand, 10-5, on tries by Werner Kok and Dewald Human. England ended up fifth after a 14-7 win over Spain who recorded their best ever finish in the Sevens Series. The Challenge Cup (ninth place) went to Argentina after a 38-14 thumping of Samoa in the final. 

One final note on Cape Town is that this was the last Sevens Series where South African referee Rasta Rasivhenge officiated. Rasivhenge was a veteran of the Sevens Series since 2011 and officiated the gold medal match in Rio in 2016. He will be moving on full time to Super Rugby and 15s later this year. 

Next stop on the Sevens Series is Hamilton, New Zealand on January 26-27, 2019.

Dubai Sevens Men’s Dream Team:

Kajone Nasoko (FIJ)

Alosio Naduva (FIJ)

Madison Hughes (USA)

Danny Barrett (USA)

David Afamasaga (SAM)

Sione Molia (NZL)

Rosko Specman (RSA)

Player of the Final:  Vilimoni Boititu (FIJ)


Pool A:  Fiji, Australia, Argentina, Wales

Pool B:  USA, England, Samoa, 16th team

Pool C:  South Africa, Scotland, France, Kenya

Pool D:  New Zealand, Spain, Canada, Japan


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