Fiji take fifth consecutive title in Hong Kong
Photo: WORLD RUGBY
Fiji created history by securing a fifth consecutive title in Hong Kong with a 21-7 victory over France in the Cup final at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
Over the course of three scintillating days of action, Gareth Baber's side enthralled the crowd as they achieved something that no other side has ever been able to do.
In the Cup final, Jerry Tuwai, who is the only current player to have played in all four of the finals, pulled the strings majestically while Aminiasi Tuimaba scored a brace and Vilimoni Botitu also crossed for a try.
After their silver medal in Vancouver, France were playing in their second consecutive Cup final in a season which is something that they hadn't achieved before.
They started at pace, however an early knock-on handed Fiji possession back and Baber's outfit didn't need a second invitation to fly. The rest of the half belonged to them as the HSBC Player of the Final Tuimaba, and Botitu, combined to cross twice with each setting the other up.
After the break Fiji's 14-0 lead was tested when they went down to six players and France were awarded a penalty try. However, from 14-7, Fiji rallied and Tuimaba's second ultimately ensured that history would be created in front of a sold-out crowd.
"It's a fantastic feeling and I'm sure that it will sink in over the next two or three days," said Fiji's head coach after the full-time whistle.
"I think that all of this has been in the backdrop of what happened in Christchurch, obviously our hearts and our thoughts go out to all of those families and this is a dedication to them."
With just three full rounds to go on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019, the tournament victory means that Fiji jump ahead of New Zealand in the world series standings and sit in second. The USA are on top with 130 points while South Africa are fourth on 99 points, nine ahead of their chasers England in fifth.
At the end of all ten rounds of this year's world series, the top four teams will confirm their places at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Japan are the only side currently qualified due to automatic qualification as the host nation.