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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 June 2006, 18:21 GMT 19:21 UK
Fiji secure sevens series title
Fiji captain Semisi Naevo with the IRB Sevens series trophy
Fiji celebrate winning the IRB Sevens series at Twickenham
Fiji became the first country other than New Zealand to claim the IRB Sevens series crown after winning the London Sevens at Twickenham.

They made sure of the title after beating Kenya 33-14 in the last eight as nearest challengers England could not overtake them in the standings.

Fiji then edged New Zealand before thumping Samoa 54-14 in the final.

England defeated France 14-7 to reach the semis but their campaign ended with a 15-7 loss to the Samoans.

New Zealand have won all the other six titles in the history of the event.

Fiji appeared in the finals of seven of the eight tournaments of the series, winning four, and finishing 22 points ahead of England on 144.

They have also won the Sevens World Cup and World Games titles.

"It's a fantastic moment for Fiji," said player-coach Waisale Serevi.

I think overall it's been a fantastic season for England Sevens

England coach Mike Friday

"The players have made a lot of sacrifices that have paid off and I thank them and their families for that, and salute them for a wonderful performance in the series."

Fiji's closest game came in the semi-finals against New Zealand where they needed a late try from Laisiasa Tora to seal a 21-17 victory.

New Zealand reached the semi-finals after beating Argentina 19-7 in the quarters while Samoa overcame South Africa 24-14.

England started the Twickenham event, the final date on this year's IRB Sevens calendar, 14 points adrift and needing the Fijians to fail to make the Plate final to have a chance of overhauling them.

And coach Mike Friday admitted his players had been sapped of energy against the Samoans.

"I think we need to recognise what we were up against," he said.

"They were a very good Samoan side in the first instance and the fact that we had eight players left - four serious injuries after day one and losing Simon [Amor] was a massive blow - so it was a big, big ask to go out there and win that game.

"I think overall it's been a fantastic season for England Sevens. We've won the Blue Riband events in Hong Kong and Dubai. "We've fallen a little short of winning the series although we've matched Fiji toe-to-toe.

"But when we look at the wider picture in terms of player centre development, the guys that are missing here this weekend and have gone on that senior tour like Mathew Tait, Tom Varndell and Magnus Lund are all guys who've benefited from being on this circuit."

Meanwhile, Scotland booked a Bowl semi-final against Portugal with a 24-19 victory over Canada but lost the game 24-12.



SEE ALSO
Fiji well on track at Twickenham
03 Jun 06 |  Internationals
England lose to Aussies in Sevens
28 May 06 |  Internationals
Fiji thrash England to win sevens
09 Apr 06 |  Rugby Union
England victorious in Hong Kong
02 Apr 06 |  Rugby Union
England secure USA Sevens crown
13 Feb 06 |  Rugby Union
England slump as Fiji romp to win
04 Feb 06 |  Rugby Union
Fiji end England's Sevens dream
10 Dec 05 |  Internationals
England claim Dubai Sevens glory
03 Dec 04 |  Internationals


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