Fiji sevens team outgun the All Blacks once again as they mop up in Las Vegas. Fiji flew crazy in the USA Sevens final in Las Vegas on Monday afternoon, mowing down a Blue All Blacks with a 35-19 thumping.
With Joe Webber, Gillies Kaka, and Murphy Taramai unavailable for the final through injury, not to mention the first choice players of DJ Forbes and Tim Mikkelson watching from the couch in New Zealand, the Kiwis were always going to struggle.
Webber, who had been superb in Las Vegas, was ruled out after suffering a concussion during the semifinal win over the United States.
For Fiji, it was their second win of the World Rugby sevens series season after a first-up win on the Gold Coast in October last year.
They had massive support from the Fijian American community at Sam Boyd Stadium, with people flying in from all around the country to fly the Fijian flag.
That enthusiasm brushed off on the team, who were superb throughout.
With a minute remaining in the first half Beaudein Waaka was harshly handed a yellow card for throwing the ball away, when he appeared to pass it as the referee blew his whistle for a penalty. Read more…
Just nine men suited up for New Zealand in the final, their third World Series sevens decider in a row. But unlike in Wellington, where they won in brilliant style against England in the Cup final, here they were overwhelmed by a rampant Fiji, who sprinted out of the blocks to lead 21-0 at the break.
Missing Gillies Kaka with a broken hand and Joe Webber and Murphy Taramai with concussion, New Zealand started well, Sherwin Stowers slipping his marker after a crooked Fiji lineout throw.
But one loose ball was all it needed for Fiji to swoop, Vatemo Ravouvou with a brilliant one-handed pick-up to send Jerry Tuwai in for the first of his double. New Zealand started to slip off tackles and then suffered at the hands of Savenaca Rawaca, who bullocked over.
New Zealand will now have to regroup for the Hong Kong and Japan tournament cluster at the end of next month. South Africa still lead the World Series standings on 93 points, hotly pursued by New Zealand on 88 and Fiji on 86. nzherald.co.nz