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Fiji came out on top against South Africa for the second time in eight days, although this time their prize was not ninth place but a first HSBC Sydney Sevens title.
Both teams had been determined to bounce back from that disappointment in Hamilton and served up a Cup final every bit as thrilling as their last meeting in Singapore when Fiji had led 19-0 at half-time only for South Africa to storm back and triumph 21-19.
Fiji nearly had the dream start in their first Cup final of the season, but JC Pretorius and Selvyn Davids managed to hold Meli Derenalagi over the line. It would only be a temporary respite, though, because as the rain began to fall again the ball skewed out the side of a breakdown and Napolioni Bolaca reacted quickest to score the opening try.
A barnstorming run from Zain Davids created the momentum for Pretorius to score with Fiji suffering a double blow with Josua Vakurunabili yellow-carded for a tackle earlier in the move. Fiji managed to hold out in his absence and then increased their advantage when a powerful hand-off from Bolaca gave him the space to run-in his second of the final.
Zain Davids crossed for South Africa midway through the second half but his namesake Selvyn was unable to add the conversion, leaving the Dubai champions trailing by two points. They were unable to find another score, Fiji and their huge contingent of fans in the crowd able to celebrate after South Africa knocked on in their own 22 with the final play.
New Zealand still the lead the standings with 76 points after four of the 10 rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020, although now only by nine from South Africa. France are third on 56 points, just ahead of England (54) and Sydney champions Fiji (53).
The next round sees the teams head to a new stop in Los Angeles, home of the 2028 Olympic Games, at Dignity Health Sports Park from 29 February-1 March.
Women's | Black Ferns Sevens continues successful run
The Black Ferns Sevens continue to write new chapters in the history of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series after beating Canada 33-7 in the final to become the first to successfully defend the HSBC Sydney Sevens title.
The title is their fourth in a row on the 2020 series after also lifting the silverware in Dubai, Cape Town and on home soil in Hamilton last weekend, taking their total to an incredible 26 titles in 42 series events.
New Zealand have now won 19 matches in a row since losing to France in the pool stages of the Glendale season opener last October, their 250th match in series history also seeing them extend their perfect record against Canada in Cup finals to eight matches.
Canada have only tasted victory once now in 21 meetings with the Black Ferns Sevens – four years ago in Sao Paulo – but they seemed set to open the scoring at Bankwest Stadium when Bianca Farella raced clear, only for Michaela Blyde to chase her down and earn a penalty.
HSBC Player of the Final Tyla Nathan-Wong, who in the semi-final had become only the second player to score 1,000 series points, instead went under under the posts to give herself an easy conversion for a 7-0 lead.
The lead lasted barely a minute, though, with Charity Williams cutting between Sarah Hirini and Stacey Fluhler to race through and tie the scores. It appeared that would be the last score of the first half but in added time Gayle Broughton's change of direction caught Canada out, giving her an easy run-in.
Canada simply couldn't find a way through the black wall in the second half of a match played in wet conditions, Niall Williams increasing the lead before Kelly Brazier's trademark step created the space for Theresa Fitzpatrick to make certain of victory.
It was left to Alena Saili to put the gloss on the victory – their third over Canada in Cup finals this season after Dubai and Hamilton – that increases the Black Ferns Sevens' advantage at the top of the standings to 16 points over Australia and Canada with three rounds to play.
New Zealand now have 96 points as the only team to medal in all five rounds, with Australia and Canada on 80 points. France sit a further 10 points behind in fourth having leapfrogged USA after they could only finish eighth in Sydney.
Next stop for the teams is a first-ever series event in Hong Kong, playing alongside the traditional men's event, on 3-5 April.