Argentina claim third gold medal at London Sevens
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 came to a thrilling conclusion on Saturday at Twickenham Stadium with Argentina defeating Fiji to claim their third cup title of the season.
Both finalists squeezed their semi-final opponents earlier in the day with Fiji beating Series champions New Zealand by 19-17 to make the final.
The All Blacks Sevens started fast with some punishing defence which led to a turnover try to Akuila Rokolisoa inside the first two minutes.
Another try to Dylan Collier gave them 12-0 lead with New Zealand looking dangerous. A third was on offer for Sam Dickson but a Waisea Nacuqu tackle dislodged the ball over the line.
It proved to be pivotal as Fiji stormed back to take a 14-12 lead before a Regan Ware try looked to have sealed it for New Zealand.
A turnover with sixty seconds to play gave Fiji one last chance. After a long break the Fijians received a penalty which saw a quick tap from Viwa Naduvalo to dive over and take the win.
In the other semi-final Argentina withstood a strong challenge from Samoa to win 10-7.
Despite Fiji scoring first in the final, a red card to Josese Batirerega for a lifting tackle on Luciano Gonzalez drastically altered proceedings.
With an extra man Argentina were not to be denied their third gold of Series with a 35-14 victory.
German Schulz scored the first by splitting Fiji up the middle after a number of phases before speedster Marcos Moneta scored in similar fashion from a messy scrum.
Fiji were able to level scores at 14-all by half-time but the man advantage proved too much.
Rodrigo Isgro booted a long raking kick downfield for Moneta to chase, which the flying No 13 managed to pull in.
A last-ditch tackle nearly saved the day but a Moneta offload back to Isgro gave Argentina a 21-14 lead.
Moneta set up Isgro again for his second try before scoring a double himself after many passes.
Argentina’s third gold after wins in Hamilton and Vancouver sealed second place for the Series, while Fiji claimed third overall.
In the bronze final of the London leg Samoa came away with their first win in a medal match in 10 attempts with a 24-19 win over New Zealand.
New Zealand being crowned 2023 Series champions, Australia claiming the final Paris 2024 Summer Olympics spot and Canada retaining core status with a passionate victory over Kenya in the 2024 Play-off.
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Gavin Hastings, was playing was he? 🤔Go to comments
Let Moana go and setup Timi Samoa and a Timi Tonga. I guarantee you that the support will be even stronger than that for the Fiji Drua. You only have to remember the support from The respective communities for Mate ma Tonga and Toa Samoa in Rugby League and also the national teams in Rugby Union. Both teams would be able to field teams equal to The Fiji drua or even better.Go to comments