New Zealand take Singapore crown
April 17, 2005

New Zealand have closed in on the World Series Sevens title by winning the Singapore leg in convincing fashion.

The New Zealander's who had been in top form all weekend collected the title after a 26-5 final win over the English - with Orene Ai'i scoring two tries.

Ben Gollings had come close to giving England an early lead before Tafai Ioasa got the New Zealanders on their way. Ai'i added a second and captain Messam an opportunistic third for a 21-0 half time lead.

Mike Friday's men looked on their way to their first-ever tryless final when Ai'i burst through again, but a try for Danny Hipkiss spared them that statistic. With Valence and Ai'i once more pulling the strings, though, and Messam and Ioasa the power-house up front, New Zealand's 26-5 lead remained unchecked.

The sides had reached the final after two pulsating semi-finals with New Zealand's Amasio Valence was the star of the first semi final, grabbing 26 points - four tries and three conversions - in the 28-14 win over South Africa, before England's Ben Gollings exorcised some of his World Cup demons by converting his own try in the dying seconds to help England beat Fiji 14-12 in the second semi.

Samoa beat Australia 14-5 in the final of the Plate. Elisara took the Samoans out to a 7-0 half time lead, but when Shawn MacKay brought the score back to 7-5 with three minutes remaining Australia were well in the match. Samoa managed to play the remainder in Australia's territory though, and closed out in emphatic style with a final try for Mikaele.
Australia had earlier enjoyed a 10-5 win over Argentina, holding on in the face of a late Puma onslaught to book a place in that Plate final, while Samoa had beaten Scotland 31-10.

In the Bowl, France put day one defeats against Fiji and South Africa behind them to win 19-12 in the final against Canada, Sebastien Morel's try capping a fine win. The French booked their place in the final courtesy of a 31-12 win over crowd-pleasers Kenya, while Canada had beaten Hong Kong 36-5.

In the Shield final Tomasi Cama's Chinese Taipei side overcame China 17-10 in a passionate and tight affair, Tung's try taking the score beyond the Chinese. Chinese Taipei had beaten Thailand 21-5 in the first semi-final before China booked their place with victory over host nation Singapore 26-0, flying wing Li Yang to the fore much to the dismay of the 13,000 crowd.

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