Australia stun Fiji in final at Hong Kong Sevens & More Trending News

Australia stun Fiji in final at Hong Kong Sevens & More Trending News

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Hong Kong (AFP) – Australia shocked holders Fiji to win the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens on Sunday, taking their first trophy in the town in 34 years.

In an exciting 20-17 sport, a last-minute attempt from Nathan Lawson upended the Pacific islanders, who had been searching for their sixth Hong Kong win in a row, and twentieth general.

Henry Hutchison placed on two tries for the Aussies earlier in the sport.

Most individuals had anticipated the Fijians to win.

“Until the last 20 seconds so did I,” mentioned Australia coach John Manenti.

“Like all weekend we just hung in there; we found a way.”

Australia — reigning World Sevens Series champions — had earlier seen off Ireland and France, after shedding to Samoa in the swimming pools.

After topping Pool C, Fiji bought to the final by sweeping apart South Africa and Samoa.

“It’s quite surreal that we’re even here,” mentioned Manenti. “We had to fight, we lost against Samoa… we fought hard and beat the Kiwis. We had to fight against the French, we had to fight against the Irish.”

“All of a sudden we’re in the game, we’ve got a minute to go and the boys owned up, it was really special.”

The Hong Kong match is the primary weekend of the brand new World Sevens Series, which can make an additional cease in the town in April. It additionally serves as qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Next up is Dubai Rugby Sevens, in early December.

Sevens tournaments maintain a volley of finals on the final day, as an opportunity for sides knocked out early doorways to raise some silverware.

In the lesser finals Sunday, the bronze medal went to France, whereas Argentina claimed fifth place, New Zealand sealed ninth, and Uruguay completed Thirteenth.

Hosts Hong Kong had been dumped out of the Thirteenth-place playoff by Japan, happening 24-17.

Off the pitch, metropolis officers had been wanting to reboot the sports activities and tourism sectors and declare a return to normality after years of pandemic journey curbs in the southern Chinese metropolis.

Spotted among the many crowd, and maskless however holding a drink — in accordance with the principles — was Hong Kong safety minister Chris Tang, well-known for spearheading a crackdown on dissent since pro-democracy protests broke out in 2019.

As he gladhanded in the stadium’s south stand — the area of fancy costume, YMCA chants and beer in a two-pint cup — the previous police chief was greeted with a delicate ripple of boos.

Before Covid, the match reliably drew a day by day crowd of 40,000 at Hong Kong Stadium, proper up till its final version in April 2019.

This 12 months, the stadium is capped at 85 p.c capability due to pandemic guidelines and organisers had been aiming for 30,000-plus a day.

But the venue was solely about three-fifths full at the height of the weekend’s crowds, with worldwide guests having been discouraged by guidelines in opposition to new arrivals coming into public venues throughout their first three days in the town.

Australia stun Fiji in final at Hong Kong Sevens

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Australia stun Fiji in final at Hong Kong Sevens

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Australia stun Fiji in final at Hong Kong Sevens

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