IRB Sevens World Series
Samoa claim Adelaide 7s crown
March 21, 2010
Samoa celebrate winning the Adelaide 7s crown following their final victory over the USA © Getty Images
Samoa notched back-to-back titles with a 38-10 victory over the United States in the final of the latest IRB Sevens Series event in Adelaide.
In doing so, they cut New Zealand's Series lead to just two points heading into next weekend's Hong Kong tournament. Fiji currently lie third and Cup semi-finalists Australia have risen to fourth, ahead of England, Kenya and South Africa. The USA made huge strides by reaching their first ever Cup final but came up short against the powerful Samoans, for whom the forward triumvirate of Alafoti Fa'osiliva, Simaika Mikaele and Ofisa Treviranus were again outstanding.
The match-winner for the islanders, though, was undoubtedly Mikaele Pesamino, who crossed for a brace of tries in the final and 11 in the tournament, extending his personal tally to 39 for the season, the leading mark. Fautua Otto also grabbed two tries while former captains Uale Mai and Ofisa Treviranus also scored. Zach Pangelinan and Nick Edwards crossed the whitewash for the United States.
Earlier, USA won through to their first ever Cup Final in IRB Sevens, first coming from 10-7 down against Wales to win their quarter final at the death with Zach Pangelinan's score and then beating Argentina 28-12, scoring four tries to the Pumas' two. Samoa first won a fourth successive victory against New Zealand, scoring at the death through Simaika Mikaele to draw level at 19-19 and then pouncing through Timoteo Iosua to win 24-19, before then seeing off hosts Australia 26-12.
Hosts Australia had delighted the home support by beating Fiji for the second time in succession, James Stannard's two late tries firing them to a popular 26-21 win but were well beaten by the powerful Samoans.
New Zealand won a bruising Plate final against reigning Series champions South Africa 21-14 to take 12 points and guarantee they lead the Series heading into the Hong Kong tournament next weekend. While newcomer Sampie Mastriet was again on target for the Boks, scoring his ninth try of the tournament, Tim Mikkelson, Save Tokula and captain DJ Forbes all scored for the kiwis. Earlier, the New Zealanders lost against Samoa in the Cup quarter finals but recovered to beat Fiji in their Plate semi.
England recovered from the disappointment of losing two matches on day one by winning all of their matches on Sunday to take the Bowl trophy, beating Kenya 33-12 in the final and taking four points towards the World Series. Ben Ryan's side followed a 47-0 victory against Papua New Guinea with a 19-0 win against France and then proved too strong for the ever-popular Kenyans.
Two tries by giant Alisi Tupuailei helped Japan to a fine 22-19 victory against Tonga in the Shield Cup final. Earlier Japan beat Niue to reach the final. The Cathay Pacific/ Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens is the next stop on the World Series next weekend. Fourteen of the 16 teams on show in Adelaide will travel to Asia - only PNG and Niue will not participate - and join 10 other sides in the only 24-team draw of the season.