After winning his 13th HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title, Roderick Solow scored a try to seal a 24–19 extra-time win in the cup final against Argentina.
New Zealand won their 13th HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series men’s title in Toulouse and celebrated with an extra time comeback in the cup final to win 24–19 against Argentina.
Heading into the penultimate tournament of the series, the All Blacks Sevens knew that if they reached the cup final they would secure the overall title.
The hosts threatened New Zealand’s defense in the closing moments of the semi-final against France. However, the final pass went to a black jersey and the All Blacks sevens were able to celebrate.
Of course New Zealand still had to play the cup final. Argentina had little hope of winning their first series title until the semi-finals; With it evaporated, it began in spectacular fashion at the Stade Ernest-Wallon.
Jermaine Schulz, Agustin Fraga and Marcos Moneta scored tries to give Los Pumas Sevens a 19-7 lead at halftime.
Against a team that had conceded just seven tries on the way to the final, the chances of the All Blacks Sevens looked bleak, but Clarke Laidlaw’s side showed the spirit of champions to win an epic final.
Aquila Rokolisoa reduced the deficit with a try before man of the match Roderick Solo equalized to send the match into golden point extra time.
He just produced the magical moment that clinched the title in Toulouse, sliding on the grass before curling a stunning effort into the right corner.
All Blacks Sevens captain Sam Dixon said: “I’m very proud that the players came back in extra time and showed the momentum we’ve shown throughout the season. This win means a lot to everyone.”
The host ends on high
There was a loud celebration at the Al Stade Ernest-Wallon as France defeated Canada 28–12 to win the bronze final.
The hosts came very close to reaching the final after beating New Zealand; When Jack Carson opened the scoring for Canada, the local crowd grew nervous.
However, France refused to panic and two tries from Aaron Grandidier and Jordan Sefo and Jonathan Laugel sealed an impressive victory.
“It’s amazing to play in front of that crowd, the energy we can feel,” Laugel later said.
“I am very proud of the players, we were very disappointed after losing to New Zealand even though we came very close to beating them. Now we have beaten Canada and that is great because we want to get a better position in the series standings.”
Despite back-to-back defeats on Sunday, Canadian fans have a lot to cheer about from their performance in Toulouse as the team prepares for the World Rugby Sevens Series 2024 play-offs in London next weekend Is.
Canada will certainly take heart from victories over Uruguay and Kenya, whom they play next weekend at Twickenham alongside Tonga.
Australia close to Olympic qualification
Australia had the chance to put some distance between themselves and the fans in Olympic qualification when they faced Ireland for fifth place.
They trailed 7–0 and 14–7 in the first leg, but a Nathan Lawson hat-trick either side of half time put them on their way to a 26–21 victory.
Australia retained the fourth and final qualifying spot ahead of the season finale at Twickenham the following weekend.
Australia head to London with a nine-point cushion, just below Samoa and South Africa and guaranteed a ticket to Paris if they reach the cup semi-finals at the home of English rugby union.
Samoa were beaten by Spain for ninth place in Sunday’s semi-final, but the Lions 7s failed to pull off a memorable double in the Pacific Islands on the third day.
Despite coming within four points in the ninth-place play-off against Fiji, the legendary Jerry Tuwai dashed Spain’s hopes.
As Spain chase down the winning score, Tuwai pounces on a loose ball and runs in to score Fiji’s fourth try and confirm a 26–15 victory. Despite missing out on a place in the quarter-finals, Fiji’s performance in Toulouse was good enough to qualify for the 2024 Olympics.
For Spain, Sunday was also the day that ensured eleventh place in the series and with it a certain place in the next season.
Earlier, Brian Tanga scored two tries, including a spectacular late effort, to help Kenya win 33–12 in the thirteenth place play-off against Japan.