5 Feb 2012

NZ rugby side celebrates home victory

6:10 am on 5 February 2012

New Zealand has retained the IRB Sevens tournament in Wellington with a 24-7 victory against Fiji in the final.

New Zealand began strongly in the tournament decider after a sluggish start against England in the semifinals.

Black shirts suffocated the Fijian attack and tries from captain DJ Forbes, Tomasi Cama and a double to Frank Halai, gave the home team a commanding 24-0 lead at half time.

Waisea Nayacavelu scored a consolation try for Fiji in the final seconds of the match, but it was not enough to deny New Zealand a sixth Wellington title in 13 years.

Earlier on Saturday, New Zealand defeated England 17-12 after extra-time in the semi-finals and France 22-7 in the quarters.

England defeated Samoa 21-12 in the third place playoff, while South Africa beat Tonga 24-0 to claim the Plate.

Kenya won the Bowl with their second victory of the weekend against Australia, 12-7.

Scotland overcame the Cook Islands 19-17 to win the Shield.

New Zealand move three points clear of their Pacific rivals at the top of the competition standings. They have 73 points, Fiji are on 70, followed by England with 64.

As is the tradition, thousands of fans in fancy dress turned up for the event.