Fiji claimed their third men’s Rugby World Cup Sevens title by beating defending champions New Zealand, while Australia’s women took down New Zealand to win the title for the first time since 2009 in Cape Town.
The mood in Fiji is euphoric and the Fiji Rugby Union is engaging with stakeholders on celebrations. In the past public holidays have been declared for winning the World Cup.
After Fiji’s wins at the Olympics in 2016 and 2020, limited edition seven dollar notes were introduced.
The Fijians claimed a third RWC Sevens title, their first since 2005, by beating an All Blacks side that won the last two tournaments with a superb 29-12 victory in the championship final.
The Olympic gold medallists battled past HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions Australia in the semi-finals before running in five tries in a fiercely physical final against a New Zealand side who overcame Ireland in the last four.
Australia’s women continued their imperious 2022 form by beating New Zealand in a thrilling final to add a World Cup to the World Rugby Sevens Series and Commonwealth Games titles they’ve already claimed this year.
Fiji flew out of the blocks as Joseva Talacolo went screaming down the left wing and over the try line inside 30 seconds, before Kaminieli Rasaku charged over in the corner to notch his fourth try of the weekend.
Moses Leo finished a nice passing move from the All Blacks to get them back in it, but they were soon pegged back again as Elia Canakaivata carved open the defence and Filipe Sauturaga dummied and went through to give the Olympic champions a 19-point lead at the break.
Akuila Rokolisoa got the All Blacks off to a good start with a try early in the second half, and Fiji’s problems soon piled up as Talacolo was sin-binned for a high tackle and Waisea Nucuqu was forced off with an injury.
Rasaku looked set to stream through for his second try until the ball slipped out of his grasp, and the Fijians then received another yellow card as Sevuloni Mocenacagi was sent to the bin just as Talacolo returned to the fray.
But they survived the testing period without conceding, and Rokolisoa then joined Mocenacagi in the bin for obstruction to make it a six-a-side game with three minutes left.
— Rugby World Cup 7s 2022 (@WorldRugby7s) September 11, 2022
The Fijians defended ferociously, pushing New Zealand all the way back under their own posts, and they sealed a superb victory with the final play through Pilipo Bukayaro.
Fiji’s coach Ben Golling said the past weeks had been tough but he believed the team could win it.
“The team has depth and with guidance from the senior players, I think this is a fantastic results,” he said.