Fiji won their second consecutive gold medal in men’s rugby sevens on Wednesday with a dominant 27-12 win over New Zealand at the Tokyo Games.
While the New Zealand All Blacks rule the 15-a-side version of rugby, Fiji are a renowned force in the reduced version contested over just two halves of seven minutes with a premium on speed and agility rather than power.
Meli Derenalagi ran in the first of Fiji’s four tries in just 73 seconds and though New Zealand struck back to trail only 19-12 at half-time, they could never level.
New Zealand nonetheless claimed their first-ever Olympic medal in men’s rugby which returned with sevens at Rio 2016 after the last of four near-farcical 15-a-side competitions was held in 1924.
Britain, runners-up five years ago in Brazil, this time missed the podium as they lost 17-12 to Argentina in the bronze medal match.