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Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018: Fiji blitzed in bronze final as New Zealand dominate England in Cup decider

The All Blacks Sevens run in five tries to win consecutive titles and become the first team to win the tournament three times

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 July, 2018, 9:41am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 July, 2018, 9:47am

New Zealand surged to victory at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco on Monday as fan favourites Fiji crashed out of contention with back-to-back losses.

The All Blacks Sevens destroyed England 33-12 in a shock final match-up, with many expecting Fiji and South Africa to be fighting it out for glory.

That was put to rest when New Zealand edged Fiji 22-17 and England breezed past the Blitzboks 29-7 in the semi-finals, with South Africa defeating Fiji 24-19 in the bronze medal match.

The All Blacks Sevens were irresistible in the big dance, notching a second consecutive title and becoming the first team to win three Sevens World Cups.

Sione Molia was untouchable on his way to two first-half tries before Mike Ellery hit back for England to ensure they were in touch at 14-7 heading into half-time.

When Joe Ravouvou continued his brilliant tournament with a try soon after the break, New Zealand were all but home.

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Ruaridh McConnochie did get one back for England but Akuila Rokolisoa and Trael Joass crossed to keep the momentum with the All Blacks Sevens.

“It’s massive, we knew coming into this it was going to be tough and we were tested. Against France [in the quarter-finals] we almost got knocked out and we really rose against Fiji, and we did well to beat an awesome England team,” said New Zealand veteran Tim Mikkelson.

“Credit to the coaching staff really. Clark [Laidlaw] has come in and he’s big on culture and he has really brought the boys together.”

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New Zealand’s women also made it back-to-back titles and Mikkelson said their effort on Sunday spurred on his side.

“Both teams train at the same place and they put pressure on us by winning their final and we had to step up and win ours,” he said.

It’s rare that Fiji lose two matches in a row but they didn’t seem themselves on Monday, going down to South Africa in a third-place play-off where the scoreline flattered them.

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018: Fiji crash out in San Francisco; New Zealand to play England in Cup final

The Blitzboks exploded out of the gates, racing to a 17-0 lead through tries to Philip Snyman, Zain Davids and Justin Geduld, before Sevuloni Mocenacagi dragged one back for Fiji to make it 17-7 at the half.

South Africa extended their lead through Siviwe Soyizwapi but Fiji never gave in, with Semi Radradra and Josua Tuisova crossing, but it was too little, too late for Gareth Baber’s side.