New Zealand Nadi Legends and Nadi Legends in a group picture after the inaugural Joe Lutumailagi Cup game in Nadi yesterday. NZ Nadi won 2-1.

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Fiji 7s retain Hamilton Sevens

Fiji Sports

Fiji Airways men's 7s team retain Hamilton SevensFiji Airways men's 7s team retain Hamilton SevensFiji retained their title at the HSBC New Zealand Sevens and won their second tournament in succession on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 as a result of an emphatic weekend in Hamilton.

The defending champions had looked electric from the very first moment that they stepped onto the park at the FMG Stadium and it wasn't any different when it came to the Cup final against the USA.

Kalione Nasoko signalled the way, alongside the incredibly experienced Jerry Tuwai, and Fiji led 17-0 after seven minutes.

The USA, who were competing in their third Cup final of the season, struggled to gain any real possession and when they eventually came inches from the line a huge counter-ruck followed. Fiji's breakdown work allowed the HSBC Player of the Final Tuwai the opportunity to go the length of the field for his second try of the final. Alasio Naduva also scored a brace as they finished their weekend off in real style.

Head coach Gareth Baber said: "It was obviously very special [to go back-to-back] and I want to say a big thank you to all the Fijian fans. They certainly lifted the team today and we appreciate everything you've done for us."

The side were also awarded the UL Mark of Excellence Award for the act of sportsmanship ahead of the match as they lifted the ball girl high into the air while they said their final prayer.

England won the Challenge Trophy and in the process James Rodwell eclipsed DJ Forbes' record for the most appearances ever on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. It was Rodwell's 90th tournament and he capped the landmark with a try.

The victory means that Fiji draw level with the USA at the top of the world series standings on 57 points. New Zealand follow on 54 before a ten-point gap down to South Africa in fourth. At the end of this year's ten rounds the top four teams will qualify automatically for the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.

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