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The Fijians notched their fifth HSBC tournament title in 2019 with a Cup win against New Zealand in Paris. The Pacific Islanders, Olympic Champions in 2016 in Brazil, defeated their perennial sevens rival 35-24, after leading 28-7 at the break.

Fiji last won in 2015/2016, and their victory broke South Africa's two event win streak from 2017 and 2018. 

Importantly, Fiji vaulted ahead of the USA by nine points to win the 2018/2019 series title.

South Africa beat the USA 24-7 for the bronze medal. The Eagles, down 12-7 at the half, ran out of steam in the second period. 

The American side went 4-2 for the event, having won the three pool matches against Spain, Samoa, and Canada. The Eagles defeated Kenya in the quarterfinals.

Final tallies of the top four sides follow:

Team   Gold   Silver  Bronze      Points

Fiji       5          1          1                      186

USA    1          4          2                      177

NZ      2          1          2                      162

SA       2          0          2                      148

These four teams have qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The rest will compete in qualifying tournaments throughout next year.

The Eagles enjoyed a most successful season ever in this ten-city circuit. The second place finish represented their highest placement. 

In addition, the Eagles collected medals in seven out the ten events this season, also, an impressive milestone.

At the end in Paris, a banner year for Mike Friday's squad, and hearty congratulations to all.



It probably wouldn't have changed the result (given NZ's closer scoreline against Fiji and the Eagles' loss to SA), but I think the US and Fiji shouldn't have met until the final. With only two teams with any realistic shot at the series title, they should have been seeded in pools whose winners would stay on the opposite sides of the bracket. If the US had won against either NZ or SA, it would have set up a winner-take-all final. Unfortunately, that's a possible outcome of blind-draw seeding, I suppose.