Russia stun Fiji in Hong Kong
March 31, 2001

Russia stunned sevens legends Fiji with a last minute penalty to hold the Pacific Islanders to a 10-10 draw Saturday at the Hong Kong Sevens.

Russian back Konstantin Ratchkov struck a sweetly timed penalty kick between the uprights in the dying seconds of the Pool A game to level the scores and leave the Fijians hanging their heads in shame.

Russia delivered the opening blow in the first minute of the game with
Victor Jakovlev diving over the line. Fiji struck back moments later through
Semisi Naevo but thereafter failed to ignite, making a succession of
uncharacteristic handling errors.

Elsewhere, the Australian juggernaut continued unabated, 36-7 winners over
South Korea in their second Pool B game.
Richard Graham, the cornerstone of the resurgent Australian sevens team, led the way with a brace of tries in their six-try-to-one victory.Australia, who haven't won in Hong Kong since 1988, are currently tied with New Zealand, four points behind Fiji going into this fourth event of the International Rugby Board's 2001 World Sevens Series.

New Zealand skipper Karl Te Nana played a key role in the defending
champions' 38-0 win over a fighting Hong Kong in Pool C.The dreadlocked Kiwi set up three tries and scored another while Jared Going, the only other player from January's World Cup Sevens winning squad, added three more tries to take his tournament tally to five."It was harder than it looked," said the 25-year-old Te Nana. "We still
have a lot to work on. We need to finish off more opportunities we created with tries but we are getting better and better."

"Seeing Fiji draw with Russia shows we are in a good chance here," he added.

In other matches, England, without any of their Six Nations internationals,
thumped Singapore 66-5 with the pacy Nigel Simpson running in a hat-trick of
tries in the Pool D clash. Neighbours Wales demolished the West Indies 47-0.

Malaysia conceded 56 unanswered points to Canada in Pool E while the
Arabian Gulf almost produced the second upset of the tournament before being
pipped by a fitter France 22-14 in Pool C.

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