- New Zealand win thrilling women’s final 21-14 against Australia to claim first Series title since Sydney 2020, Fiji claim bronze
- Fiji come from behind to beat a spirited Ireland 29-17 to win men’s title, while hosts France win bronze medal to delight home crowd
- Australia are women’s Series champions with France finishing second and Fiji third
- Argentina, who finished fifth in Toulouse, are now top of the men’s Series standings, two points ahead of South Africa with only two rounds remaining
- The men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 continues next weekend with the penultimate round in London, before the finale in Los Angeles on 27-28 August
Both reigning Olympic champions turned on the style to take top honours at the HSBC France Sevens in Toulouse on Sunday as Fiji and New Zealand claimed the men’s and women’s titles respectively.
New Zealand’s women won their first title since Sydney in 2020 when they defeated 2022 Series champions Australia 21-14 in a thrilling final.
Head coach Cory Sweeney, who claimed his first title since taking on the role said: “It is a proud moment and an emotional moment for us all.
“After Langford we worked on a few things, had some awesome training sessions and we put that into practice this week.”
HSBC player of the final Sarah Hirini said: “I love this squad, I have amazing team mates and we will enjoy this moment.”
Australia took some consolation in receiving the 2022 Series trophy, which they had already secured following victory in Langford earlier in the month, finished top of the standings with 80 points following a consistently top class season.
France were second on 60 points, Fiji were third also on 60 points and Ireland, also on 60, just missed out on a top three finish due to a weaker points difference. New Zealand, who missed part of the series due to Covid concerns, finished fifth overall on 57 points.
The unique rankings points system for the COVID-19 affected 2022 Series saw only the four best results from each team count towards the final standings.
Despite some spirited performances, including an outstanding victory over England on Saturday, Brazil finished the Series in the relegation position as the 11th core team.
In the men’s tournament, Ireland played some impressive rugby to reach their first ever men’s Cup final, but in the final the Fijians – off the back of gold in Singapore and silver in Vancouver, were too strong, ultimately running in five tries to win an entertaining final 29-17.
Fiji’s Tevita Dagunu said: “Teamwork in defence and attack was what this victory was built on. We kept the ball well and stuck to our game plan. To all the Fijians around the globe, this win is for you.”
Asia Rugby Calendar 2022
Fiji’s Waisea Nacuqu was awarded HSBC player of the final and he said: “Ireland played well, but we worked hard to win.”
After a breathless three days of superb rugby sevens action, it is Argentina, who finished fifth in Toulouse, who are now top of the men’s Series standings after seven rounds with 118 points with two events to go.
Long-time leaders South Africa are second on 116 after a frustrating time in France while Australia are third on 110 and Ireland fourth on 88. After this win, Fiji are now fifth on 87 points after missing out on rounds three and four played in Spain due to the effects of the pandemic.
Women’s Cup final: Brazier try wins it for New Zealand
In the women’s final Demi Hayes scored an early try and Dominique du Toit converted to make it 7-0 to Australia before Risi Pouri-Lane bagged a seven pointer for New Zealand to level things up.
Faith Nathan’s try, converted by du Toit, just before the break, put Australia 14-7 up.
Soon after half-time the score was level at 14-14 as Alena Saili finished well and Pouri-Lane added the conversion.
And then came a try from Kelly Brazier, converted by Pouri-Lane, with two minutes to go to give New Zealand a hard fought 21-14 triumph.
Men’s Cup final: Five star Fiji score lift title
Fiji got off to a flying start in the men’s Cup final when they scored a try after 40 seconds via Tevita Dagunu. Napolioni Bolaca converted to put Fiji 7-0 ahead.
Ireland showed great character and levelled the score at 7-7 when Terry Kennedy set-up Jordan Conroy for a try and Mark Roche converted.
Kennedy then showed excellent awareness to score his side’s second try and, although it was not converted, they were up 12-7.
However, Bolaca’s try, converted by Waisea Nacuqu, made it 14-12 to Fiji at half-time.
Two minutes into the second half Josua Vakurunabili scored Fiji’s third try and when Elia Canakaivata added their fourth they were 24-12 up with four minutes left.
Kaminieli Rasaku’s try made it a 17 point lead before a late Conroy try for Ireland finished things off 29-17.
Men’s bronze medal match: Laugel the main man as France reach the podium
A try and a conversion by Paulin Riva put France 7-0 up at half-time in the men’s bronze medal match against Samoa.
The Samoans, with the passionate home crowd cheering on their opponents, battled back well though in the second period and tries from Iafeta Purcell and Vaa Apelu Maliko – and one conversion by the former – had them 12-7 up with time running out.
However, France were not done yet and a five pointer by Jordan Sepho took the game into extra-time where Jonathan Laugel bagged the winning try as it finished 17-12.
Women’s bronze medal match: Try double from Alowesi Nakoci sees Fiji take third
Fiji were too strong for Ireland in the women’s bronze medal match.
They came out on top 26-10, Raijieli Daveua, Alowesi Nakoci (2) and Sesenieli Donu the victor’s try scorers, Lavenia Cavuru (2) and Viniana Riwai adding conversions.
Vicki Elmes Kinlan and Stacey Flood scored unconverted tries for Ireland who can be proud of how they have done in 2022.
While Toulouse was the sixth and final round of the women’s Series, the men’s Series will continue with its eighth round in London next weekend before the grand finale in Los Angeles on 27-28 August. The pools were drawn for London on Sunday evening and there are some exciting match-ups.
All is still to play for at both the top and the bottom of the Series standings, which will include only the best seven results for each team from the nine-rounds of the 2022 Series.