. /Fiji beats USA in the semis of Paris 7s on Sun June 20 to win the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series crown. Photo credit - World Rugby
Fiji reclaims World Sevens Series title
By Patrick Korir | Sun 02 Jun, 2019 17:06

Fiji reclaimed the HSBC World Sevens Series title on Sunday 2 June 2019 at the Stade Jean Bouin after seeing off the only other title challengers USA 33-14 in the first semi final.

Coming to Paris, Fiji led the overall standings with 164 points, just two ahead of USA. And now with a spot in the final, the race is all but over.

Cruel blow

The USA are guaranteed second spot - their best placing ever - as New Zealand who also qualified for the final to face Fiji confirmed third place. They dethroned back-to-back Paris 7s champions South Africa 33-7.

Last season Fiji landed in Paris with a seven point advantage over South Africa. It was a cruel blow for them as they suffered a shock defeat to England in the quarterfinals and had to watch on as their Series lead slipped away, despite having won five of the previous six tournaments. 

South Africa went on to retain Paris 7s, and the overall Series title as a helpless Fiji watched and had to settle for second best with 180 points,two behind Blitzbokke.

Howbeit, Fiji were not letting it go this time round as they took a commanding 19-7 half time lead over USA before wrapping it up in the second half.

Isles runs off try box

Meli Derenalagi was put under pressure but used his long frame to put Fiji ahead after receiving a Vilimoni Botitu offload. Sevuloni Mocenacagi added a second unconverted try. 

Jerry Tuwai was then sin binned and in his absence the best the USA could do was to botch a try through Carlin Isles who ran off the try box. He was to atone for it soon after but had to limp off injured in the process. Tuwai returned to add one more try that Botitu converted to settle the first half.

Botitu added a try and conversion in the second half stretched Fiji’s lead to 24-7. Impressive Kevon Williams broke free to add what turned out to be another consolation for the USA that was converted by Steve Tomasin bringing the scores to 24-14.

A final Fiji try by Isoa Tabu and conversion by Aminiasi Tuimaba brought the contest to an end handing Fiji their first World Series title since the 2014/5 season and fourth adding on to previous ones in  2004/5 and 2013/4 seasons.

Patrick Korir
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