Rugby sevens: Fiji win in Gold Coast

Osea Kolinisau of Fiji makes a break during tjhe Gold Coast Sevens final. Photo / Getty Images
Osea Kolinisau of Fiji makes a break during tjhe Gold Coast Sevens final. Photo / Getty Images

Stung by their round-robin loss to Australia, a rampant Fiji stormed home to claim back-to-back titles at the opening round of the international rugby sevens series on the Gold Coast.

The Fijians blew away long-time rivals New Zealand in Sunday's final, scoring six tries to two in a comprehensive 32-14 win over the Kiwis.

Ratu Alipate Raitini scored a hat-trick in the final as, for the second year in a row, Fiji took home the trophy in south-east Queensland.

Captain Levani Botia said it was Saturday's 15-14 loss to Australia which he used to motivate his team to a much-improved display in the finals.

"We knew the Aussies beat us in the last pool game yesterday so I told the boys to not put their heads down, just look up and work hard so we can achieve our goal this afternoon,'' Botia said.

"We know it's a good start for us. That's what we came here for. We wanted to defend (the trophy) and bring the glory back to Fiji.''

New Zealand, whose team boasted several newcomers to international sevens, had stuttered their way through the tournament and had no answers to a rampant Fiji in the decider.

Captain DJ Forbes said while they can only improve from the experience of playing together, he knows the team's play wasn't up their usual high standards.

"Definitely pleasing to go that far, I spoke to the boys about it, we can only get better,'' Forbes told AAP.

"That team there (Fiji), they've probably been playing together for a while and they would have played a lot of tournaments back in Fiji, for us, this is our first time together and for some of our young boys it's the first time playing sevens.

"Something to be excited about but, in saying that, it's still a game of footy and we could have done a bit better in that final.''

South Africa, who impressed throughout the tournament with the sole exception of their semi-final defeat to Fiji, easily took out third spot against fellow Africans Kenya with a dominant 41-7 victory.

Kenya were worthy of their fourth place, pushing New Zealand all the way in a 15-5 defeat in the semis after having earlier accounted for Australia and England.

The Australians, after winning all three of their group matches on Saturday, came down to earth with a thud as they were beaten 21-14 in the quarter-finals by the unheralded Kenyans.

A narrow 17-14 loss to Argentina in the lesser plate competition then meant Australia left their home tournament empty-handed despite their fine pool form.

The Argentines would go on to win the plate with a 14-7 win over France while Scotland won the shield and Spain - with Australian Carlos Blanco in their team - claimed a golden-point win over England in the bowl competition.

The series now moves to Dubai for the second round from November 30 to December 1.

- AAP

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