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Saturday, 25 May, 2002, 20:04 GMT 21:04 UK
New Zealand take Sevens crown
New Zealand's Joe Rokocoko
Joe Rokocoko got on the scoresheet

New Zealand proved beyond doubt to be the world's leading sevens side by crushing South Africa 54-14 in the final of the IRB World Sevens Series event at Twickenham.

South Africa earlier beat England 26-12 in the semi-final, but the home side were happy with their efforts.

England coach Joe Lydon said: "Of the major goals in the series this season one was to be competitive and the other was to get up to be one of the four seeded teams.

"We have done that, it's been a marvellous effort."

Tim Walsh
Tim Walsh helped Australia to Plate victory
Star player Henry Paul added: "Over the whole tournament we have played well, but in that one game we lost possession and possession is vital.

"But no excuses, South Africa used the ball well - they used it better than us."

It was a different story in the final as New Zealand ran in eight tries, with the South Africans struggling to come to terms with the pace of the game.

Chris Masoe, Craig de Goldi, Amasio Valence and Eric Rush all went over in the first half, while Valence added all four conversions.

Gaffie du Toit converted a Paul Treu try in response for the Boks, but it was a repeat performance after the break.

Joe Rokocoko waltzed past Anton Pitout to get the scoreboard moving again for New Zealand, and Hayden Reid added two tries as South Africa were brushed aside.

Australia managed seven tries as they took the Plate final with a 45-14 win over Samoa, Scott Barton and Tim Walsh grabbing two tries each.

France had a tough battle before winning the Bowl final 22-19 against Canada, after a hat-trick from Frederic Lartigue.

Renaud Dulin was carried off with an ankle injury in the last four minutes, and Les Bleus had to hold on with six men.

Vasil Abashidze scored a splendid hat-trick to give Georgia a 20-14 win over Scotland in the Shield final.

IRB World Sevens Series results (Saturday):

Cup final: New Zealand 54-14 South Africa
Plate final: Australia 45-14 Samoa
Bowl final: France 22-19 Canada
Shield final: Georgia 20-14 Scotland

Cup semi-finals:
New Zealand 29-0 Wales
South Africa 26-12 England

Cup quarter-finals:
New Zealand 14-7 Samoa
Wales 19-10 Argentina
South Africa 24-19 Fiji (aet)
England 26-14 Australia

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BBC Five's Simon Ward
"New Zealand looked imperious throughout"
See also:

25 May 02 | European
23 May 02 | International
20 May 02 | Commonwealth Games 2002
16 May 02 | International
30 Apr 02 | International
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