February 04, 2018
Fiji defeated arch rivals New Zealand 14-12 in its semifinal clash of the 2018 Hamilton 7s and will now face defending champion South Africa in the grand finale tonight at the FMG Waikato Stadium.
As expected, the match proved to be a thriller with both teams throwing their best and kept the fans entertained and on the edge of their seats.
Fiji entered the match without lanky forward Sevuloni Mocenacagi who has been suspended after a high tackle against Samoa in their quarterfinals.
Josua Vakurunabili dived in the corner to score Fiji’s first try in the 4th minute after some good build up from a ruck. Amenoni Nasilasila converted from the sidelines to give Fiji a 7-0 lead.
The Kiwis hit back through Sam Dickson but his try was not coverted and this gave Fiji a 7-5 halftime lead.
New Zealand youngster Vilimoni Koroi outpaced a couple of Fijian players after the break and raced away to score New Zealand’s second try and put them ahead 12-7.
After an exchange of misses, and loss of possession in tackles and scrums, Fiji managed to break through and score via Mesulame Kunavula.
And a successful conversion gave the Fijians a 2 point advantage and they managed to cling onto the lead till the final hooter to book their place in the final for the first time this season.
Meanwhile South Africa proved too strong for Australia in its semifinal clash and registered a convincing 24-5 victory.
The Cup final will commence at 7.03pm (Fiji Time)
By Reginald Chandar