New Zealand win London Sevens
May 27, 2007

New Zealand triumphed against Fiji at a wet and slippery Twickenham to clinch the Emirates Airline London Sevens and keep alive the race to the overall IRB Sevens World Series title.

An early try by Afeleke Pelenise, who finished as the tournament's top try scorer with 11, set the kiwis on their way to a well-deserved 29-7 win in which they bossed possession from the outset and came to terms with the conditions better than their opponents.

In winning through to the final, though, Fiji gain 16 points - to New Zealand's 20 - and edge closer to a second successive IRB Sevens World Series title.

Pelenise's try gave New Zealand the early initiative in the final and, with Edwin Cocker and skipper DJ Forbes outstanding in commanding continued possession, further scores followed for Zar Lawrence (2), Roy Kinikinilau and Adam Thompson.

William Ryder's effort for the Fijians was the only try New Zealand conceded on the day, which saw them battle past South Africa and Samoa in the tougher half of the draw.

Fiji now lead the overall series by 10 points from New Zealand going into next weekend's final event at Murrayfield. A semi final appearance there would guarantee Serevi's men a series defence but this tournament has, at least, shown them to be fallible.

South Africa held on in the face of a late surge from a talented young Australian side to win 14-5 and take the Plate competition.

Two converted tries by Gio Aplon put the Boks well in control at 14-0 but Paul Treu's men were then forced to defend as AJ Gilbert's try sparked a late Wallaby surge. The Boks held on, though, to take eight points towards the overall series, while Australia garner six.

Earlier Luke Burgess had inspired Australia to what was a second successive Plate final against the Boks, while South Africa held on against a much improved Argentina to win 17-14.

Tries by forwards Isoa Damu and Michael Hills either side of the break gave hosts England reason to cheer at the end of two disappointing days as they beat Portugal 10-0 to win the Bowl.

Inspired by the never say die attitude of captain Simon Amor, England fought to the death against a rugged Portugal boasting seven of the players who will represent the country at this year's Rugby World Cup in France.

Earlier Damu scored two tries as England saw off France 17-7 to reach the final, while Portugal reached the final by beating Russia 19-12.

Two tries by Victor Sudi Simiyu fired Kenya to Shield success as they overcame Italy 15-0 in an error-strewn match.

Sidney Ashioya was first to cross for the Kenyans and two Simiyu tries put the result beyond doubt.

Earlier both sides shrugged off the disappointment of losing their Bowl quarter finals to win through to the final, Kenya beating Georgia and Italy outplaying Canada.

Cup winners so far this season:
Dubai, UAE - South Africa
George, RSA - New Zealand
Wellington, NZ - Samoa
San Diego, USA - Fiji
Hong Kong - Samoa
Adelaide - Fiji
London - New Zealand

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