Fiji beats France to win record 5th Hong Kong Sevens trophy, Canada ties for 15th - InfoNews

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Fiji beats France to win record 5th Hong Kong Sevens trophy, Canada ties for 15th

Fiji's Paula Dranisinukula, left, is tackled by Maceo Brown of the United States during the semifinal match at the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament in Hong Kong, Sunday, April 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
April 07, 2019 - 8:45 AM

HONG KONG - Fiji won a record fifth Hong Kong Sevens on Sunday, beating France 21- 7 in the final at Hong Kong Stadium.

Canada finished at the other end of the standing, tied for 15th after losing 29-14 to Wales in the 13th-place semifinal. The Canadian men finished with a 1-4-0 record at the tournament.

Canada remains in 12th place with three stops remaining this season. The teams now head to Singapore, where the Canadians won in 2017. The Canadian men, however, have been drawn in a tough pool with Fiji, South Africa and Scotland in Singapore.

"That was without doubt the worst tournament we've played since I began coaching Canada 7s," coach Damiam McGrath wrote on Twitter. "We started well but got steadily worse as we went on. Our lack of preseason caught up with us but there are no excuses. We will regroup for Singapore."

The U.S. beat Samoa to finish third. Tries from Marceo Brown, Carlin Isles, Joel Schroeder and Marcus Tupuola helped the U.S. prevail 22-10 to secure 17 points and stay atop of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings, seven points clear of Fiji.

The Americans won in Las Vegas, finished runner-up four times, third once and fourth once this season.

New Zealand, which finished sixth, are third overall with 118 points. South Africa, which tied for seventh, remain fourth with 99 points.

France, which was also runner-up in Vancouver last month, is ninth overall.

On Sunday, the Canadians lost 19-0 to Kenya in the consolation Challenge Trophy quarterfinals in a game that saw David Richards make his Series debut in the second half.

Canada then lost to Wales despite two tries from Justin Douglas, Canada's all-time try leader with 133. Douglas had missed the last two stops on tour due to a concussion.

Fiji opened the scoring in the Cup final with a try by Wilimoni Boitu in the fifth minute and then another by Aminiasi Tuimaba on the half-time whistle to go into the break 14-0 up.

France scored a penalty try in the second half to close to within seven points with five minutes left on the clock after Josua Vakurinabili was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle that prevented Gabin Villiere from scoring.

France's advantage did not last long with Tavite Veredamu deemed guilty of the same infringement on Paula Dranisinukula to make it six on six.

Tuimaba made the most of the extra space to score again in front of the Fijian supporters.

Fiji, with the crowd firmly behind the team, looked unstoppable all week, beating Argentina 29-24 in Sunday's quarterfinals before disposing of the U.S. 28-19 in the semifinals.

France beat 12-time Series winners New Zealand in a close 14-12 quarterfinal Sunday before defeating Samoa 19-12 en route to the finals.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong made the men's qualifiers' final in front of its home crowd for the second year in a row, losing to Ireland 28-7.

— With files from The Canadian Press

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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