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Fiji win Olympics gold again, defeating New Zealand in Tokyo final

By Sam Smith

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Fiji have successfully defended their Olympics Rugby Sevens men’s title, defeating New Zealand in the 2021 Tokyo decider 27-12 after a powerhouse start propelled them to another gold medal following their success at the 2016 Games in Rio. Favourites for the title, the Fijians got off to a dream start in the showpiece decider with Meli Derenalagi and Sireli Maqala scoring in the opening three minutes. 

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New Zealand hit back through Scott Curry but Fiji reached the interval 19-5 ahead after Jiuta Wainiqolo scored. This same tit-for-tat pattern was repeated in the second half, Sione Molia scoring for the Kiwis before Asaeli Tuivuaka grabbed the fourth Fiji try of a contest where they then landed a penalty from Waisea Nacuqu to see out their deserved 15-point Olympics final win. 

Argentina will join this duo on the medals podium as they bounced back from their 26-14 semi-final loss to Fiji to defeat Britain 17-12 in the bronze medal match. The Brits, beaten 29-7 in their semi versus New Zealand, took an early lead through Ben Harris but tries from Lautaro Bazan Velez and Marcos Moneta had the Argies 12-5 up at the break.

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Britain levelled the scores midway through the second half, Ollie Lindsay-Hague supplying the finish, but Ignacio Mendy broke away for the bronze medal-sealing score. Elsewhere, South Africa defeated Australia 22-19 and then the USA 28-7 to seal a fifth-place finish.

Ronald Brown scored two tries in the win over the Aussies before tries from Justin Geduld, Sakoyisa Makata, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Stedman Gans proved too much for the Americans. Australia took seventh place by defeating Canada 26-7 while Kenya clinched ninth with a 22-0 win over Ireland, the team they had lost 12-7 to in the pool stages on Tuesday. Hosts Japan defeated South Korea 31-19 in the eleventh-place match.  

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Fiji win Olympics gold again, defeating New Zealand in Tokyo final

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