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Mon, 27 February 2023

New Zealand Beat Argentina to Win Los Angeles Sevens

(27/02/23)  New Zealand beat Argentina 22-12 in the Cup Final of the Los Angeles Sevens on Sunday, becoming the first mens team to win two tournaments in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023.

Leroy Carter was the hero for the All Blacks Sevens on day two, scoring five tries, including two in the showpiece match, to help his side win their second successive title.

In winning in the USA, the All Blacks Sevens avenged their defeat to Argentina in their home Cup Final in Hamilton last month and solidified their position at the top of the standings.

With six of eleven 2023 Series tournaments played at the end of the HSBC Los Angeles Sevens, New Zealand have amassed 107 points, 21 more than Los Pumas Sevens, who are now second.

New Zealand beat Argentina to win Los Angeles Sevens 2023. Click to enlarge.
New Zealand beat Argentina to win Los Angeles Sevens 2023

Weve been working hard for a few years now, said New Zealand captain, Sam Dickson. We made a few finals last year and now were finally clicking. That hard works paying off.

Moses Leo opened the scoring in the Cup Final, outpacing Marcos Moneta to score in the left corner and give the All Blacks Sevens a 5-0 lead.

That soon became 12-0 as Carter crossed for the first time, converted by Akuila Rokolisao, who had notched his 60th Series try in the 33-12 semi-final win against Australia.

The All Blacks Sevens had conceded a 12-point lead in losing the Hamilton Cup final to Argentina in January, but any nerves were eased in first-half stoppage time as Carter went over again.

Los Pumas Sevens hit back with tries from Tobias Wade and Agustin Fraga to set up a tense final two minutes, but it was New Zealand who held their nerve.

Brady Rush made sure of the victory and the tournament as he produced a stunning dummy to fool the Argentine defenders and canter over.

It was a different weekend than normal with the delays on the first day due to lightning, so we just had to adjust on the go and we got through the first day and we managed to come here today and play pretty well, said Dylan Collier, New Zealand forward. This season is extremely competitive. Theres eight teams in the running to get in the top four and full credit to all the teams for how much everyone has improved. Every game is tough, and we knew that if we did well this weekend, and next weekend, we can pull away a little bit and create a bit of a buffer and it will go a long way to winning the World Series.

Fiji were undone by indiscipline in their 20-17 Cup semi-final defeat to Argentina, but it looked as though they were cruising to victory in the bronze final.

Anasa Qaranivalu stormed through the Australian defence to score the first try of the match within the opening minute at the Digital Health Sports Park.

Rokoua Rasaku crossed the whitewash to double the Fijian advantage before half-time and it was 21-0 in the ninth minute when Manueli Maisamoa cut through before handing the ball off to Rauto Vakadranu to score his first Series try.

Australia had less than five minutes to mount a comeback, but they gave it their all as Maurice Longbottom, Dietrich Roache and Nathan Lawson all touched down.

Ultimately, though, Longbottoms missed conversion from his own score which hit the crossbar from the right touchline proved decisive and enabled Fiji to hold on to win bronze.

These games are crucial, Fiji coach, Ben Gollings said. Theyve regrouped well, and it was a big performance.

The mens teams move straight on to Vancouver, Canada and join the womens teams for the next round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 on 3-5 March.

The mens pools for Vancouver have HSBC Los Angeles winners New Zealand in Pool A alongside Cape Town champions Samoa, Spain and the United States. Pool B includes silver medal winners Argentina with South Africa France and Japan. Bronze medal winners Fiji will meet Great Britain, Uruguay and Kenya in Pool C, while Australia lead Pool D alongside Ireland, Canada and Chile.

The womens pools for Vancouver have New Zealand, Fiji, Great Britain and Colombia in Pool A. Reigning Series champions Australia will be looking to bounce back in Pool B against France, Japan and Spain. Pool C sees the USA together with Ireland, Canada and Brazil.

Next weekends tournament marks the first time the womens Series will be played inside BC Place Stadium alongside the men in downtown Vancouver.

Rugby pictures: Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015, Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong, Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015, Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Pictures of Chartis Cup 2012 and Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

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