They defeated New Zealand 27-12 in Tokyo
Fiji win gold medal at Olympic Men’s Sevens for second time
They’ve done it – Fiji have won back-to-back gold medals at the Olympic Games. A 27-12 win over New Zealand in the final prompted scenes of jubilation for the superstars from the island nation.
Related: Olympic Men’s Sevens results
Fiji Meli Derenalagi shot in to score the opener in the corner after the defending champs ripped the ball off the Kiwis, thanks to Sireli Maqala. It was worked in and Derenalagi was gifted a super start. But from the kick-off as well, the Flying Fijians won it back. With no sweeper in the NZ backfield it was kicked ahead and as Andrew Knewstubb let the ball slip from his grasp without grounding, that man Maqala swooped in to score the second.
New Zealand staged a counter-strike though, with roughneck leader Scott Curry taking a ball on an arc and running it all the way round to get the Kiwis onto the scoreboard, making it 12-5 to Fiji.
Staunching Fiji’s flow can be like holding back the tide though, and Jiuta Wainiqolo – who has scored vital tries all thought this meet and was described by Ugo Monye as having “more steps than the Eiffel Tower” – detonated up the touchline, bouncing tackles as he surged for another try to make it 19-5. How he stayed in-field and scored defies logic.
New Zealand went deep into added time in the first half, closing the gap after stringing phases together until Sione Molia powered through heavy traffic to go under the sticks to lead to a 19-12 to Fiji at the break.
The Kiwis could have scampered in for another score in the second half, but potentially it all turned on it’s head as Molia coughed up the ball. From there, Fiji redoubled their efforts.
Aminiasi Tuimamba made an incredible break and looked like he would score if not for a vital ankle-tap tackle from a straining Molia. Yet Fiji were patient and their maestro Jerry Tuwai worked it wide to Asaeli Tuivuaka who cantered in for the try that would take it 24-12.
The match ended with Waisea Nacuqu knocking over a penalty drop-goal to finish it 27-12 and begin the yells of delight. Fiji have made history. Again.
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