NZ win Dubai rugby sevens - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NZ win Dubai rugby sevens

08/12/2002 06:08:17 AM Comments (0)

New Zealand has wreaked revenge on Samoa in the final of the opening leg of the world sevens series in Dubai on Saturday, sweeping aside a team which had inflicted a rare defeat on the Kiwis in a pool game.

The 36-0 victory left no doubt as to the All Blacks' continued dominance of the specialist discipline despite arriving without eight of their 15 contracted sevens players, including inspirational veteran leader Eric Rush.

"We had lots of well-documented problems with injuries going into this match so the boys have shown tremendous character to win this weekend," said New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens.

Kiwi Anthony Tuitavake also picked up player of the tournament for a scintillating weekend watched by a record Dubai crowd of 18,000.

It was the fourth Dubai title in a row for the All Blacks and reversed an earlier result when Samoa surprised the All Blacks 19-17 in pool play.

The International Rugby Board tournament was again dominated by southern hemisphere teams despite some sterling performances from England, which fell to New Zealand 19-7 in the quarter-finals.

All four semi-final slots were occupied by southern hemisphere sides with Samoa overcoming the much fancied South Africa and the Kiwis tearing past rival Australia 38-7.

In Saturday's semifinals, New Zealand seemed to have regained its balance, defeating arch rivals Australia 38-7, while Samoa outlasted South Africa 19-12.

Anthony Tuituvake fired the New Zealanders, grounding three tries with Justin Wilson, Roy Kinikinilau and Liam Maessam scoring one each to suffocate Australia, which replied with tries from Luke Foster and veteran Peter Miller.

Samoa, whose play has been full of fast running rugby and tight marking, is aiming for its first Dubai title. The team's semifinal victory came with scores from Samu Eteuati, Ron Fanuatanu and F. Matagitau-Usu. Neil Powell and Rodger Smith scored tries for the South Africans.

In the quarterfinals, also Saturday, New Zealand beat England 19-7, while Samoa dumped Wales 22-0.

Australia, which brought a young, inexperienced side to Dubai, did well to hold off surprising strong Argentina 24-22 in the closest quarterfinal, with Chris Siale making a big contribution despite not scoring.

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