After a prolonged break, Sevens action was back in spectacular fashion as the Hong Kong Sevens took centre stage over the weekend. With an inconic status on the Sevens World Series, players and fans alike consider this to be a premier tournament and one which every nation wants to win.
Traditionally, it is the dominance of the southern hemisphere islanders who emerge victorious here; with England being the only country to have won here aside from New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa. Going into the 2013 Hong Kong Sevens and it was Fiji setting out to reclaim their title and boost their overall league standings.
Clearly inspired by the success of their XV counterparts the previous weekend, Wales emerged as a somewhat surprise package to many and earned their place in the Cup Final against Fiji. With a 19-0 lead at half-time it seemed as those it would be a rare victory for the northern hemisphere in Hong Kong. Fiji, with overall title ambitions of their own, set about the comeback of the season though to record a stunning 26-19 victory to retain their title and claim their second tournament of the season following their win in Australia on the opening weekend. Second half substitute, Osea Kolinisau, proved the game changer with three tries to stun the Welsh, who were making their first Hong Kong Sevens Final.
Earlier on in the day in the Third Place Final and New Zealand brushed aside a weary Kenya side, 36-5, to maintain their position at the top of the Rugby Sevens World Series. Sherwin Showers and Rocky Khan both crossed the line twice to now leave New Zealand with a 25 point cushion over Fiji in the overall standings, with only three tournaments to play.
Elsewhere in the competition and England ended another disappointing campaign by claiming the Bowl Final with a 42-7 win against the hosts. Samoa also took home some silverware having defeated Canada 12-7 in the Plate Final whilst France emerged victorious against Argentina, 19-14 in the Shield Final.
With the next round of competition less than a week away, all eyes will now be on Japan as they stage round nine of the Sevens World Series. With the draw already having taken place, the hosts face the formidable task of taking to the field against New Zealand whilst the so-called ‘Group of Death’ sees Samoa, England, Argentina and Australia – last years Tokyo winners.
Stay tuned for next weeks round up of all the Sevens action and don’t forget you can show your pride and support for your team with our collection of Sevens replica rugby shirts and clothing.