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Fiji’s magnificent moment

Friday 12 August 2016 | Published in Regional

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Tears, prayers, dancing and singing as Fiji men’s sevens win Pacific first-ever Olympic gold medal

FIJI – Fiji has won its – and the Pacific’s – first-ever Olympic gold medal with a barnstorming rugby sevens performance against Great Britain.

The Fijians men’s team scored seven tries to one in a 43-7 victory. They dominated from the outset, leading 29-0 at half-time, with captain Osea Kolinisau scoring three tries.

Pre-tournament favourites Fiji were imperious from the opening whistle and the gold medal win was an obvious conclusion within the first few minutes.

They dominated possession and ran in five tries by the break.

Britain looked shell-shocked and Fiji added two more tries, with Dan Norton’s score little consolation for England.

Fiji started the tournament as top seeds after winning the previous two World Series championships, while the British side came together as a team in May.

The South Pacific island nation’s first Olympic medal was celebrated wildly at the final whistle in front of the country’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

“Fiji sevens and rugby – it’s more than just a fanatical aspect of Fijian life,” Fiji coach Ben Ryan said before the match, “It’s in their DNA.”

South Africa won the bronze medal play-off when they overpower Japan 54-14. Fiji earlierbeat Japan 20-5 in their semifinal. - PNC