The New Zealand Sevens juggernaut continued on its way as Gordon Tietjens’ side captured a first Hong Kong Sevens title since 2001 to extend its record winning streak to 42 matches and seven consecutive Series titles.
The IRB reports that New Zealand’s victory against South Africa in the final of the Cathay Pacific/ Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens gave them another 30 points for the series, extending their lead over closest rivals South Africa to 38 points and all but close out their Series defence.
They also take home the generous $100,000 prize purse allocated to the Hong Kong winners.
The kiwis got off to the best possible start, Lote Raikabula crossing early on before setting Steven Yates for another try, both of which were converted by Tomasi Cama, the player of the tournament.
Mzandile Stick pulled one back for the Boks, who have been by far the closest challengers to New Zealand over the last two series events, but more pressure was to follow from the men in black and a second Raikabula score made it 21-7 at the break.
Zar Lawrence crossed in the second half to extend the lead and although the Boks fought back New Zealand’s defensive cordon was inpenetrable until Fabian Juries late try brought more respectablity to the scoreline, which ended 26-12.
South Africa will take consolation from making their first ever Hong Kong Cup final, and in consolidating their second place in the series standings, but New Zealand’s utter dominance this season continues unchecked.
France win Plate thriller
France won their first silverware of the season, beating the Pumas of Argentina 17-14 after a minute of sudden death extra time.
France got off to a flying start with first half tries from Vincent Roux and Simon Sarthou, while Argentina responded through Gonzalo Camacho to leave the match delicately balanced 14-7 at the interval. The second half was a tense affair, but it was Argentina who scored the only try of the half through Gabriel Ascarte to level the scores and take the match into extra time sudden death.
With the scores locked at 14-14, France pressed for an early score and secured their first silverware of the 2007/08 series with a Simon Sarthou penalty drop kick after just 41 seconds.
Russia retain Hong Kong Bowl
Claude Saurel’s bright young Russian side beat off the challenge of pacy Zimbabwe to retain the Hong Kong Bowl, 19-14.
Gerald Sibanda and Tendayi Hondo scored early on for the Africans but Sergey Belousov’s effort kept the Russians in touch, down 14-7 at the break. Oleg Kobzev’s effort brought the scores level soon after before flyer Aleksandr Gvozdovskiy raced clear to break the deadlock and hand victory to the Russians, who also take one point for the overall Series.
Earlier Zimbabwe beat off the brave challenge of host nation Hong Kong and Russia had proved too strong for Korea.Tweet