Rugby Sevens: Australia and Fiji Win Oceania Sevens Championship

The Australian men and Fijian women booked their spots to the Olympics by winning the 2015 Oceania Sevens Championships. The men’s tournament was an 8-team tournament with two groups where all teams advanced to the quarterfinals while the women’s tournament was a 5-team tournament with a single group where teams attempted to qualify to the semifinals. The winner of both tournaments was given a spot to compete at the Olympics. The Oceania Sevens Championship was held in Auckland, New Zealand from November 14th to November 15th 2015.

In the men’s tournament Fiji and New Zealand did not compete as they had already qualified previously. In Group A it was a dominant display by Australia as they topped the group with a combined score of 159-7. Tonga grabbed the second seed with its win over the Cook Islands and debutant Nauru.

Group B was similarly dominated by Samoa, though their final group game against Papua New Guinea was initially close until Samoa blew open the floodgates to win the match 41-7. Papua New Guinea finished second in the group with a dominant display over the Solomon Islands and American Samoa.

The quarterfinals were largely uneventful as the favourites all won, but Papua New Guinea struggled to distance itself against the Cook Islands, winning the match 19-7. A major upset occurred in the semifinals when Tonga defeated World Series core member Samoa in a 41-5 blowout to reach the final. Australia booked the other spot to the final with a strong 36-0 win over Papua New Guinea. Australia continued its fine form in the finals where they defeated Tonga 50-0 to qualify to the Olympics. Samoa won the third place match 54-0.

In the women’s tournament Australia and New Zealand did not compete as they had already qualified previously. As the only remaining World Series core team Fiji dominated the group with a combined score of 204-0. The Cook Islands finished second in the group as they were able to score a narrow win over Samoa as they won by a score of 19-7. Tonga was the nation eliminated as they lost 20-5 against Papua New Guinea.

Fiji booked its spot to the final with a 40-0 win over Papua New Guinea while Samoa got a matter of revenge over the Cook Islands by narrowly winning 17-15. Fiji was able to finish the tournament without conceding a try as they defeated Samoa 55-0 to book its spot to the Olympics. The bronze medal went to the Cook Islands as they defeated Papua New Guinea 32-0.

Both Australia and Fiji have now qualified teams in both genders. All is not over for some teams as Tonga and Samoa for the men and Samoa and Cook Islands for the women have all qualified to the final Olympic qualification tournament to be held some time in 2016.

Men’s Tournament Rankings

  1. Australia
  2. Tonga
  3. Samoa
  4. Papua New Guinea
  5. Cook Islands
  6. Solomon Islands
  7. American Samoa
  8. Nauru

Women’s Tournament Rankings

  1. Fiji
  2. Samoa
  3. Cook Islands
  4. Papua New Guinea
  5. Tonga

References

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