Rugby: NZ hammer Fiji in the South Africa Sevens final (+ photos)

SOUTH AFRICA - New Zealand have stamped their mark on the IRB World Sevens series with an emphatic 34-7 win over Fiji in the Soth Africa Sevens final in Capetown.

The Kiwis were the defending champions here at the south western Cape coastal town and also the winners from Dubai last weekend in the first leg of the series.

They also defeated Fiji in the final on that occasion, winning 31-21. It was a completely different story here on Saturday however as the New Zealanders ran in six tries - four in the first half - to down the men from the south sea islands 34-7.

The Kiwis led 24-0 by the eighth minute after tries by Lote Raikabula, Victor Vito (two) and DJ Forbes.

Three minutes after the interval the defending champions stretched their lead to 29-0 after a James Kamana try, before the outgunned Fijians finally got on the scoreboard through a converted Neuni Nanuku try.

Israel Dagg though finished off the misery for the islanders when he crossed in the 18th minute.

Fiji qualified for the Cup final after a thrilling 21-12 win over hosts South Africa, who again failed to go all the way in their own tournament.

Two late tries by Akuila Nawerecagi and Tomasi Mawi turned around a 12-7 deficit after home town favourite Kabamba Floors had put the South Africans ahead after the restart.

South Africa, while disappointed they didn't get to the final, can count themselves rather fortunate they even made it to the last four after being pushed until after the hooter had sounded to record a quarterfinal win over the gutsy Scots.

The men from New Zealand were simply too powerful for the Argentinians in their semifinal, running out comfortable 38-14 winners.

They had earlier beaten the USA 36-0, while the men from South America won through to the semifinals after defeating Samoa 22-19.

In the other finals on the day, Canada overcame an ever-improving Zimbabwe 31-14 to lift the Shield, while in the Bowl final, Wales triumphed over arch-enemies England 21-19.

And, Kenya's fairytale ride continued after their wonderful showing on Friday when they beat England and Zimbabwe to qualify for the Cup quarterfinals.

On Saturday they lost 24-12 to finalists Fiji, but then beat Scotland and the USA to win the Plate final.

- AFP

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