Argentina win in London

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2023 London 7s champions, Argentina. Picture: WORLD RUGBY

Argentina won their third gold medal of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023, beating Fiji 35-14 in the Cup final at Twickenham on Sunday.

Fiji opened the scoring in the final but lost Josese Batirerega to a second-minute red card and Los Pumas Sevens took full advantage to round off their most successful season in style.

Earlier on day two, Australia secured qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, for the first time via the Series, winning the seventh-place play-off against Great Britain to wrap up fifth place in the standings.

Canada, meanwhile, confirmed their core status for next season by winning the World Rugby Sevens Series 2024 Play-off, edging a tense decider 12-7 against Kenya at Twickenham.

“It feels great, it feels like that’s where we’re supposed to be,” Canada captain Phil Berna said.

“We’ve been building towards this in the latter half of the season, and it all came together today. It was awesome.”

ARGENTINA STRIKE GOLD

Filipe Sauturaga gave Fiji the dream start to the final match of the 2023 Series, producing a stupendous dummy to bamboozle two Argentine defenders before cantering over the line.

Fiji’s hopes of securing a first Cup final victory of the season were dashed less than a minute later though as Batirerega was sent off for a dangerous tackle.

Argentina exploited the holes that appeared in the Fijian defence to score two tries before half-time, through German Schulz and Marcos Moneta.

Remarkably, Fiji levelled early in the second half as Sauturaga went over again but Argentina and Rodrigo Isgro responded almost immediately following an electric break from Moneta.

Those two players combined again as Isgro scored his second try of the final and there was still time for Moneta to notch his 100th Series try to seal the HSBC London Sevens title.

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