Fiji's prodigal son Bruce Rauqe was welcomed back into the fold yesterday and all was forgiven when he lifted his side out of the danger zone to a record eighth Hong Kong Sevens title. Rauqe, who was dropped by Fiji from their national sevens squad earlier this year, was the hero last night, scoring the try that ensured the world champions a 28-19 victory over Samoa in a Cup final that captain Waisale Serevi described as 'a special win'. That was because for the first time his wife Karailaini and eldest daughter Una were in the crowd, estimated at 37,000 by the organisers. Serevi, 29, may not have been carrying Una up to the stands to receive the Cup and a cheque for US$120,000 if not for the tall and gangly Rauqe. Unhappy with being dropped after having trained with the squad for three months, Rauqe left for Australia in January where he played club rugby in Sydney. His speed and bulk soon helped him into the Australian sevens squad. Australia were dumped by Fiji in the quarter-finals. Past-master David Campese had the heart but not the legs and his young side were unable to stop Fiji from moving on. With Australia's ousting, Fiji not only gained a semi-final berth, but also the services of Rauqe who was drafted in as a sub due to an injury to Sirilo Lala. This is well within the laws of the tournament. What is not clear is if Rauqe should have been allowed to start the final against Samoa, especially with two of the other original members - Luke Erenavula and Inoke Turuva - fit on the bench. Did Fiji bend the laws, or if not, flout the spirit of them? It is understood that the Samoans were unhappy with Rauqe's inclusion in the starting lineup. Rauqe had caught the eye throughout the tournament with Australia and the canny Fijians must have realised their mistake in letting him go. The Fijian management made amends and Rauqe paid the trust back handsomely when he crossed the line with Fiji clinging to a 21-19 lead and with more than two minutes of play left. Serevi had a mixed game. While he created the usual openings and opportunities that led to tries by Marika Vunibaka, Jope Tuikabe and Inoke Maraiwai, he also slipped up on a couple of occasions. The first was early in the game when he attempted to do too much with a two-man overlap - he was nailed metres from the Samoan goal-line. But Fiji soon had everything under control. They led 14-7 at half-time with tries by Vunibaka and Tuikabe. Toa Samania scored Samoa's solitary try. Fiji went further ahead soon after the break with Maraiwai's try before Samoa cut the deficit when Ailaoa Samania broke a tackle and touched down near the left corner flag to make it 21-14. Then a poor pass by Serevi was intercepted by Ailaoa and Samoa closed in, 21-19. But then Rauqe came to the rescue. 'It is getting tougher to win every year,' said Serevi. 'Before, only Fiji and New Zealand were strong, now all the teams know how to play sevens.' The Kiwis, who beat Argentina 19-7 in the quarter-finals, were ousted 24-7 in the semi-finals by Fiji. Captain marvel Eric Rush was a marked man and it was left to Rua Tipoki to try and be creative. He has a nice swerve and jink, but lacked the acceleration to break free of the shackling tackling of the Fijians. Without Jonah Lomu and Christian Cullen, New Zealand are just another side and coach Gordon Tietjens all but agreed to that. 'We have got to live with that and try and get around that,' he said. Yesterday they could not achieve that. Samoa thumped Canada 52-0 in their quarter-final. Canada had nowhere to run and conceded eight tries in a rout. The Samoans then met Chester Williams and his South Africans in the semis. A gruelling quarter-final against France seemed to have taken everything out of the republic. They beat France in sudden death, 24-19, after nearly 20 minutes of play. That was too much of an effort. Samoa hammered the big but slow Africans 45-7 to set up the final against Fiji - won by an outcast turned hero. TEAMS Fiji: Waisale Serevi, Marika Vunibaka, Jope Tuikabe, Inoke Maraiwai, Bruce Rauqe, Setareki Tawake, Saimoni Rokini. Subs: Luke Erenavula, Aisea Tuilevu, Inoke Turuva. Samoa: Ailaoa Samania, Toa Samania, Semo Sititi, Onehunga Matauiau, Alefaio Vaisuai, Toala Filipo, Orene Ai'I' Subs: Leamy Toleafoa, Malakai Koloamatangi, Saito Sililoto.