Fiji scored an extra-time try to defeat the Blitzboks 24-19 in the fifth-place final at the Dubai Sevens on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
In a game worthy of a Cup final, the two best and most consistent teams on the sevens circuit went blow for blow, with the Fijians ultimately prevailing with the last play of the match.
With the Blitzboks leading 19-14, Waisea Nacuqu scored a breakaway try under the posts to level matters with a conversion to come. But debutant Vilimoni Botitu botched a regulation kick from dead in front to send the game into extra-time.
Fiji controlled possession in added-on time, but the Blitzboks’ defence held firm. But in a moment of individual brilliance, wing Aminiasi Tuimaba chipped the ball over two defenders and chased down his own kick to hand Fiji the win.
Earlier in the match, the Fijians opened up a 14-7 lead just after half-time, with Muller du Plessis scoring for South Africa. Momentum shifted the way of the Blitzboks as Du Plessis scored two more tries to complete his hat-trick and put his side ahead by five.
Then in the final minute of the game with Fiji pinned in their own half, the Blitzboks conceded possession and were made to pay for the error. Fiji kept the ball alive to score through Nacuqu. That was followed by the drama of the missed conversion and the try in extra time to turn the result in their favour.
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