Kiwis claim Paris Sevens with crushing victory
May 28, 2000

A stunning display of sevens rugby saw New Zealand, who had already been crowned inaugural World Sevens Series champions by 186 points to Fiji's 180, thrash South Africa 69-10 in the Cup Final here at the Charlety Stadium on Sunday.

The New Zealanders, who benefitted from previous leaders Fiji's shock defeat by Argentina in the quarter-finals, went into the break 45-0 up and although South Africa scored two tries in the second-half it was a matter of trying to retain their self respect.

"I'm just pleased we made the final," said South African captain Andries Fourie.

"We've had a great tournament and it's our first final but New Zealand are a formidable outfit," he added.

Karl Te'Nana, player of the series here two years ago and in the Hong Kong Sevens, started the slaughter off as herampaged through to open the score with a stunning run into the left corner.

Their prolific scorer Justin Wilson broke two tackles to go over and then Craig Goldie left the shattered South Africans reeling punch drunk on the floor as he turned and twisted and managed to ground the ball despite lying on his back over the tryline.

With five minutes gone and the South Africans not even out of their part of the pitch the Kiwis added another as Brad Fleming burst in from the right wing took the ball at full pelt and left the three South African defenders for dead 30 metres out.

Amasio Valence got in on the act as he took a freekick himself tapped it and ran through to touchdown - the South Africans grouped around each other but in reality there was very little they could call on and that was clear when Valence scythed through the defence again to score his second of the match.

Just for good measure Te'Nana went on another of his stop me if you dare rampages and touched down under the posts with seconds to go till the break.

The South Africans had outscored the New Zealanders by two tries to one in the early part of the second-half until the try of the match when Rodney So'oialo, who replaced veteran Eric Rush in the squad when he was ruled out on Saturday, ran 40 metres stopped as two defenders caught up with him and then cool as a cucumber went inside them to touch down - he added a second a minute later.

Appropriately it was New Zealand's player of the series Orene Ai'i who scored the final try to set the seal on a quite wonderful display

Earlier New Zealand beat Australia 24-7 to set up the final with South Africa, who beat Argentina 19-14.

Justin Wilson opened the score with a superb solo effort coming in off the left wing and with a jink of his hips took himself past the last Australian defender to touch down under the posts for his sixth try of the weekend.

The Kiwis could have been further ahead at halftime but for a marvellous try saving tackle by Brendan Williams on Brad Fleming two metres short of the line.

Within a minute of the second-half Australia were level as Cameron Pither, of whom great things are expected at XV level, sold a dummy and broke through Karl Te'Nana's tackle to go in under the posts for his fifth of the weekend.

However, New Zealand stormed back and having created the overlap Amasio Valence went in to touchdown to restore their lead and then Te'Nana got his own back on the Australians by breaking through two tackles to touchdown - leaving them flat on their backs and the extravagantly-hairstyled Te'Nana celebrated by raising his arms to the Kiwi fans in the crowd.

Jared Going rubbed salt into their bitter rivals' wounds with a final second try and the players were lauded off the pitch with a traditional Maori dance which fortunately for the performers was in the sunshine and not the rain that had poured down during the match.

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