29 Jan 2017

Fiji trounce New Zealand at Wellington Sevens

6:30 pm on 29 January 2017

Olympic champions Fiji have thoroughly beaten New Zealand 26-10 in the quarter-finals of the Wellington Sevens.

DJ Forbes battles his was to the try-line.

DJ Forbes battles his was to the try-line. Photo: Photosport

The four tries to two defeat has ended the All Blacks Sevens' dream of winning their home tournament for the fourth year in a row and relegated them to contesting fifth place.

They knocked over England 24-0 in the semi-finals for fifth and will meet Argentina in the minor final at 7.30pm.

After losing to the favourites South Africa in pool play, Fiji will meet them again in tonight's grand final at 8.30pm.

In the quarterfinals, Fiji absorbed early pressure from New Zealand with patience before striking the first blow with a break away try down the right wing from Joeli Lutumailangi.

The same player scored Fiji's second a minute later on the left wing with some clever evasion of close quarter tackling.

Sherwin Stowers is left scratching his head.

Sherwin Stowers is left scratching his head. Photo: Photosport

Their third try thirty seconds later from a blind side move off the scrum, highlighted their sevens superiority and made the defending champions look amateur.

DJ Forbes saved face for New Zealand with a late try in the first half, but the old master needed all of his strength to burst through the defensive line to score.

Down 19-5 at half time, New Zealand rallied in a passage of all out attack only for poor handling to prevent them from converting their opportunities into points.

Fiji squeezed in another try on the right-hand flank before Tim Mikkelson scored a consolation five-pointer with a kick and chase.

"Disappointing," said New Zealand coach Scott Waldrom after the loss.

"To get within five metres of the line three times and lose the ball is pretty tough. We've got to get better if we're going to become a top team."

Fijian supporters also won the battle at the stadium were attendance was about 5,000 short of the 15,000 predicted for day one.

"It definitely didn't feel like home town support," said Waldrom.

"There were far more Fijians."

Fiji supporters celebrate in Wellington.

Fiji supporters celebrate in Wellington. Photo: Photosport

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