Fiji has beaten the All Blacks Sevens 28-17 in the final of the Singapore round of the World Series.
It was Olympic champions Fiji’s first Series title since Sydney in January 2020, while the New Zealanders were playing their first tournament in two years.
Australia beat Ireland 21-19 in the bronze emdal match.
South Africa, who were beaten by Fiji in the quarter-finals still lead the championship after five rounds from Australia and Argentina.
In a repeat of the Tokyo Olympic final, which Fiji won 27-12 last year, matches between Fiji and New Zealand are often classics and the Singapore final did not disappoint.
Vuiviawa Naduvalo scored his ninth try of the weekend after two minutes to give Fiji the lead in this one with Kaminieli Rasaku converting. Waisea Nacuqu then scored – and converted – Fiji’s second try and they had a healthy 14-0 lead. Just before the break, Joseva Talacolo scored Fiji’s third try, converted by Rasaku, and it got worse for New Zealand as Leroy Carter was yellow carded.
New Zealand needed the first try in the second half to give themselves any hope and a score came from Regan Ware, but it was not converted. With Jerry Tuwai pulling the strings, Fiji’s fourth try came through Naduvalo, his 10th of an amazing two days. Rasaku converted.
Fiji captain Tevita Daugunu said: “It was a very good final. We knew we had to keep the ball away from New Zealand and for most of this final we did just that.
“The team stuck to the game plan perfectly and with it being Palm Sunday back home we hope this has made our family, friends and supporters happy.”
Player of the Final Naduvalo, who scored 10 tries over the course of the weekend said: “I am so happy, it has taken a lot of sacrifice for me to get this far and that is why I was so emotional during our national anthem. This victory is for my family, they are my ‘why’, they drive me on and I want to make them proud.”
New Zealand captain Sam Dickson said: “We can be proud of our efforts. We had five debutants in this tournament and they all did extremely well and did the black jersey proud so we will take a lot away from it.
“The good thing about the Sevens Series is we have got another tournament next weekend and we will be ready to go again in Vancouver, which is one of our favourite tournaments and we will be looking to repeat our winning performance last time we were there in 2020.”
All 16 men’s teams now travel to Vancouver for the sixth round next weekend.