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The main takeaway from the recent Hong Kong Sevens was Fiji’s shutout Cup victory 22-0 against reigning 2016-2017 Men’s tour leader South Africa. Fiji had been somewhat somnolent for the first six events, finishing second three times and garnering no victories, an aberrant result for the past two-year's World Rugby circuit winner and 2016 Olympic Men's gold medal champion.
But Hong is a special place for the Fijians who were victorious here for the 17th time, also with ten second place finishes. All those three final defeats this year were against South Africa (Dubai, 26-14, Wellington, 25-5, and Las Vegas 19-12) so the Cup win gave promise of potential future wins in the remaining three tournaments.
South Africa continue to lead the series, achieving 145 points with Fiji at second at 122. England stand in third place with 113 points, but the Red Roses played poorly in Hong Kong. The New Zealand story is also one of underachievement, the Kiwis have not made it to one final this season. Further, they trail South Africa by 48 points. Since 1999/2000, the All Blacks have been World Rugby Series champions on twelve occasions, the last title coming in 2013/2014.
Hong Kong Dream Team
Two Eagles were selected, along with three Fijians, one South African, and one Australian.
Ben Pinkelman USA
Perry Baker USA (33rd try this season)
Isake Katonibau Fiji
Cecil Africa South Africa (50th World Series appearance)
Kalione Nasoko Fiji
Vatemo Ravouvo Fiji
Henry Hutchison Australia
This weekend, the Singapore Sevens April 8 and 9.