Hong Kong Sevens 2018: Fiji make it four in a row


At the end of the day, with all the talk about the Commonwealth Games in Australia disrupting the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series schedule, was there really any doubt about who would hoist the trophy in So Kon Po?

Ten of the 16 teams entered in this year’s Hong Kong Sevens also featured in the main draw of the Games the very next week, forcing sevens powerhouses from the Commonwealth to decide whether to field squads mostly composed of younger players from the university and academy systems.  The average age of the Australian team, for example, was just 21.5 years old with more than half its players making their World Series debuts.  South Africa and New Zealand took similar approaches.


Meanwhile, Fiji took no such chances.  The reigning Olympic gold medalists and three-time defending champions enjoy an enormous fan presence every year at Hong Kong Stadium, and led by captain Jerry Tuwai, Fiji sailed through pool play, outscouring their three opponents 117 to 33.  Their lone test against a young South African squad in the Cup semifinals saw them down 19-5 at halftime, but a 21-point second half propelled them into the finals against Kenya, a longtime African powerhouse that took advantage of a talent-depleted Hong Kong Sevens to reach the championship match.


In a drama-free final, Fiji took a commanding 17-0 lead at the half and never looked back en route to the first-ever four-peat in the history of the Hong Kong Sevens.  Amenoni Nasilasila, who scored a try and made two conversions in Fiji’s 24-12 victory over Kenya, was named HSBC Player of the Final.


Photos: Fiji 24, Kenya 12 – Hong Kong Sevens 2018 Championship
all photos by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine


Additional results

Bronze Medal: Following a narrow loss to Fiji in the Cup semifinals, a young South African squad – guided by Marius Schoeman, as head coach Neil Powell chose to go to the Commonwealth Games early with his veterans – defeated New Zealand, 29-7. “In terms of the future we were delighted with Hong Kong as these young players really stepped up,” Schoeman said in a statement released ahead of the Singapore Sevens.


Avenging a loss to the United States in pool play, Argentina captured the Plate (fifth place) with a 14-12 victory.  France won the Bowl over Canada, 33-7, and Wales cruised to a 33-5 win in the Shield final (13th place).