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Argentina stun Fiji to win first World Sevens Series tournament since 2009

By Sam Smith
(Photo by DON MACKINNON/AFP via Getty Images)

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Argentina have stunned Fiji to win the Vancouver Sevens, beating the Tokyo Olympics gold medallists to claim their first World Sevens Series tournament victory since 2009.

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Running in five tries to two, the Argentines were spearheaded by Marcos Moneta, his country’s star player who lit up last year’s Olympics with some dazzling footwork and impressive speed en route to Argentina’s bronze medal finish.

Moneta was one of two players who scored a brace of tries at BC Place, with the other being Felipe Del Mestre, while Santiago Vera Feld was Argentina’s only other try-scorer.

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Argentina were forced to withstand a yellow card to Tobias Wade early in the second half, during which time Fijian star Jerry Tuwai crossed for a try.

That added to the first-half try scored by Kamineli Rasaku, but that was as good as it got for Fiji, who failed to back last weekend’s win at the Singapore Sevens up with a successive title.

Argentina head coach Santi Gomez Cora was playing for his country when they last won a World Sevens Series event in San Diego 13 years ago, and the 43-year-old was ecstatic at breaking his side’s long-standing duck.

“You have to dream because the dreams come true. I can’t believe it. I searched for this for nine years as a coach and I can’t believe it,” Gomez Cora said. “The Olympics first and now this. I’m so happy and so proud of these guys.”

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Gomez Cora added that winning tournaments as both a player and a coach was a special achievement in his rugby career.

“I did it as a player and my dream after being a player was to do it was a coach. The dream has come true,” Gomez Cora said.

“We worked very hard to arrive here. The players gave everything everyday in Argentina, here and at the tournaments. It’s not easy for us, we have a lot of trials but it’s enough. We won.”

Elsewhere, Australia beat Samoa in the bronze final, while South Africa toppled New Zealand to take fifth place and remain at the summit of the World Sevens Series standings ahead of next month’s event in Toulouse.

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