14 Mar 2016

Sport: Fiji finish 4th but stay top of World Series

2:47 pm on 14 March 2016

Fiji remain atop the World Seven Series despite back to back defeats at the latest leg in Vancouver.

Having topped their group and recovered from two tries down to defeat the United States in extra time in the quarter finals, Fiji's were beaten by South Africa in the semi finals and Australia in the playoff for third.

Against the Blitz Boks Ben Ryan's side had hinted at another famous comeback, after coming from 12-0 and 19-0 down to level the match, before Justin Geduld and Seabelo Senatla raced away to seal the 31-19 result.

Fiji were beaten by South Africa in the Cup semi finals in Vancouver.

Fiji were beaten by South Africa in the Cup semi finals in Vancouver. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima

Ben Ryan's side raced out to a 12-0 lead against Australia despite Kitione Taliga being yellow carded in the first minute of the match.

But Australia surged back with three unanswered tries to win 19-12.

Fiji finished fourth at the Vancouver Sevens.

Fiji finished fourth at the Vancouver Sevens. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima

It's the fourth time in the past five tournaments that Fiji have failed to make the Cup final however they retain the overall series lead by one point after New Zealand beat the Blitz Boks 19-14 in the Cup final.

Fiji have 106 points after six rounds, one clear of South Africa, with New Zealand another point adrift in third.

Samoa claimed the Plate title with an impressive 31-19 victory over the USA to record their best finish so far this season.

Alex Samoa dotted down twice while Belgium Tuatagaloa, Alefosio Tapili and Tomasi Alosio also got on the score-sheet.

Vice captain Alosio was proud of their performance, considering they ended the weekend with only 10 fit players.

"Our boys stuck it out, grinded right through to that final whistle and after losing the quarter finals we came in wanting to win the Plate so proud [of the] effort from the boys. It's taken us a long time to rebuild with the injuries that we've had - which is no excuse - but we're rebuilding and we feel like we're getting better every tournament."

The Manu had qualified for the Cup quarter finals for the first time since the season opening tournament in Dubai in November, where they were beaten 17-14 by New Zealand.

Their fifth place finish lifts them two places to ninth in the overall standings.

The next round is in Hong Kong in a month.

Sam Dickson was named player of the final

Samoa reached the Cup quarter finals before finishing fifth. Photo: World Rugby