Fiji beat Kenya 31-12 to win Canada Sevens

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Sevuloni Mocenacagi scored two tries as Fiji beat Kenya 31-12 in the final of the Canada Sevens rugby tournament Sunday to become the first team to win two titles in this season’s Sevens World Series.

Mocenacagi touched down on either side of halftime, first to draw Fiji level with Kenya at 12-12 at the break, then to begin a run of 19 unanswered points in the second half. That carried Fiji to its 33rd victory in 67 appearances in World Series finals.

Kenya had won only once before in four finals appearances, beating Fiji in Singapore last year.

Fiji had almost no possession in the first half – making only four passes to Kenya’s 20 – but managed two breakaway tries from kickoffs to keep the match in the balance at halftime.

With a more secure stream of possession in the second half it was able to give full vent to its attacking game and scored three more tries while holding Kenya scoreless.

”I’m speechless and very proud of the boys,” Fiji captain Jerry Tuwai said. ”We are a very young side and winning here in Vancouver gives us something to fight for in the rest of the season.

”We are the first team to win two tournaments this year but that will only make the other teams much harder to play against.”

Kenya opened the scoring after two minutes with a try to Willy Ambaka, the 99th of his World Series career. Fiji grabbed the kickoff for its first possession of the match and Josua Vakurunabili dashed from halfway for a try that leveled the scores.

Kenya hit the lead again with a try to Samuel Oliech, who fended one defender and side-stepped another. Again, Fiji claimed the kickoff and this time Mocenacagi broke into the open field and dashed almost 50 meters to again restore parity.

Mocenacagi clinched the Man of the Match award when he scored again two minutes into the second half, supporting Amenoni Nasisila, who handled twice in the build-up.

Nasilasila also featured in the lead-up to the next try, kicking into open space for Alasi Sovita Naduva, who kicked the ball on and claimed a helpful bounce to score. Paula Dranisinukula then showed his strength by defying three tacklers to score Fiji’s last try.

Series leaders South Africa beat the United States 29-7 to win the bronze medal and England beat Australia 31-14 to take fifth.

South Africa retains the lead in the World Series after six of 10 rounds. The South Africans lead with 109 points from Fiji with 101, New Zealand with 92 and Australia with 84.

The next tournament beings in Hong Kong on April 6.