Fiji pip Australia to Sevens title in Brisbane
February 19, 2000

Fijian wizard Waisele Serevi scored a
sensational try with seconds left to lift Fiji to a 24-21 victory over
Australia in the final of the World Rugby Sevens tournament in Brisbane today.

In an exciting climax to the latest round of the World Sevens Series that saw the semi-final exit of the All Blacks, Fiji claimed the title with a hard fought victory over Australia.

The final began well with Australia's John Roe throwing a superb dummy and going over between the posts after a matter of seconds.

The Wallaby tactic was obvious from the start and that was to limit the danger of the Fiji's Filimone Delasau and at times it appeared rather brutal.

But mistakes cost Australia dearly, and a turnover of possession saw Fiji on the attack. A quick tap from Serevi saw a huge Fiji overlap and Viliami Satala crossed under the posts to level the scores 7-7 with Serevi's conversion.

After some admirable defensive work the threat that was Delasau broke through three defenders, then brilliantly side-stepped Miller, who was back at fullback, to stroll between the posts.

The try came right on half-time giving Fiji a 14-7 lead.

In the second half Fiji stepped up the tempo and at times ran the Wallabies ragged and it was brave defensive work that kept them in the contest.

But Fiji were playing with all their experience and quickly found the numbers out wide, and Viliami Satala crossed wide to increase the score to 19-7.

The young Australian team hung in there, and after a period of promising attacking play Richard Graham forced his way over the line, and Willett's conversion brought the score to 19-14 Fiji's way.

The crowd came to life another minute later when John Roe unloaded to Andrew Willett , who shrugged off a defender to cross under the posts and convert his own try.

That made the score 21-19 to Australia and victory for the Aussies looked within reach.

But there was still time for the game to turn once again. With just 40 seconds remaining, it was the man of the tournament, who claimed the moment. Australia failed to secure the ball from their kick-off Waisale Serevi danced his way through the defence, dodging and weaving his way through and eventually outsprinting Richard Graham to cross near the posts.

Wild scenes followed as Fijian fans flooded onto the field, Servei missed the conversion, but he had pulled off a stunning act to deny the Australian team victory.

Serevi was named Man of the Tournament, scoring 12 tries in all over the two days.

Fiji 24 [V. Satala 2, Delasau, Serevi tries, Serevi 2 cons]
Australia 21 [ Roe, Willett, Graham tries, Willett 2 cons]

In the Plate final France and Argentina went to extra time after a late French try locked the scores at 14-14.

Argentina scored twice to earn the Plate and a boost for the series standings.

In the Bowl final a young Tongan side capped a successful tournament with a 43-0 thumping of Papua New Guinea.

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