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It was a day of major upsets as the three of the top four 7s sides were eliminated in their opening round of Cup play. Only top of the charts Fiji made it into the Cup final. But, again, the mighty, muscular Fijians lost to rival Samoa 29-26 in the Cup final, after leading 26-7 at the half.
The Samoans put on a 22 point second half spree and stopped the Fijians a few meters from the try line in the last seconds of play. It represented an amazing comeback from a nation that had fallen on rugby 7s hard times, and has not yet qualified for the Olympics. That repechage tournament will be June 18 and 19 in Monaco for the final (12th) spot in Rio. Sixteen teams will compete, including, Canada, Russia, Tonga, and Spain.
The third day in Paris began with victories by second-tier 7s teams over the constant Cup semi-finalists. Argentina beat New Zealand. France beat Kenya (winners in Singapore), Samoa defeated South Africa, and only Fiji advanced over Australia.
In the semis, Fiji beat France 22-5, and Samoa nicked Argentina 14-12 to establish the all-Pacific Island final.
France defeated Argentina for third place 26-17, culminating a 5-1 home nation tournament. The crowd cheered and cheered as the team waved back, it was a terrific result for Les Bleus.
Shield – Portugal 24-Wales 19
Bowl – Scotland 28-England 10
Plate – South Africa 17-Australia 7
Cup – Samoa 29-Fiji 26
The teams move to London next week for the final tournament in the ten-city season.