Rugby Sevens: Australia and Fiji Qualify After Winning Olympic Qualifier Sections of Oceania Championships

Australia and Fiji won the Olympic qualification portion of the 2019 Oceania Sevens Championships as both Australia’s men and women won the overall title. The Oceania Sevens Championships were split into two competitions where non-eligible teams competed in one group and Olympic eligible teams competed in two groups with the winners of the two divided tournaments competing for the Oceania title. The tournament was held in Suva, Fiji from November 7th to November 9th 2019.

On the women’s side the non-eligible team group (Pool A) included already qualified Australia and New Zealand and guests Canada and Japan. The group was won by Australia who went undefeated, including a 17-5 victory against New Zealand who finished second. Japan finished third thanks to a 12-5 win over Canada. The top two teams advanced to the International finals where Australia defeated New Zealand for a second time 12-0 to advance to the overall finals.

The Olympic eligible groups saw Fiji go undefeated in Pool B where they scored 189 points without conceding any. The second place team saw a tie for points between Nauru, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Solomon Islands had the tiebreaker and advanced to the semi-finals as Vanuatu and Nauru finished third and fourth respectively.

Pool C was won by Papua New Guinea as they defeated Tonga (52-0), Cook Islands (19-12) and Samoa (17-10). Also advancing to the Olympic stage semi-final was Samoa as they narrowly defeated the Cook Islands 21-19 in their opening match along with a 43-0 victory over Tonga. Third place in the group went to the Cook Islands.

The Olympic stage semi-finals saw the two group winners advance as Fiji defeated Samoa 43-0 and Papua New Guinea won over the Solomon Islands 31-7. The Olympic quota deciding match was won by Fiji as they qualified without conceding a point with a 36-0 victory over Papua New Guinea.

Fiji would however, meet its match during the overall final as Australia would win the title via a 24-12 score. The bronze medal was won by New Zealand who defeated Papua New Guinea 29-0 while fifth place went to Samoa as they defeated the Solomon Islands 45-0.

The men’s tournament contained 15 teams with five of them competing in the non-Olympic eligible group (Pool A). Fiji went undefeated to win the group where the only points they conceded were to New Zealand in a 21-15 win. New Zealand however, suffered a shock loss to invited team Japan where the Olympic hosts won the match via a 17-14 score line to finish second and to advance to the International finals. Also competing in this group were New Caledonia and Niue. The match between Fiji and Japan was won by Fiji 33-0 as they advanced to the overall final.

Among the Olympic eligible groups, Pool B was won by Samoa where they scored 156 points over their four matches and conceded seven to Papua New Guinea in a 33-7 victory. By winning the pool Samoa advanced to the Olympic qualifier final. Papua New Guinea finished second thanks to victories over the Solomon Islands, the Cook Islands and Tuvalu where they will get a chance to qualify to the final Olympic qualification tournament.

Similar to Samoa, Australia was the powerhouse in Pool C where they went undefeated and scored 201 points and only conceded seven to Vanuatu in their opening game in a 52-7 win. This allowed Australia to advance to the Olympic qualifier final. Finishing second was Tonga who had wins over American Samos, Vanuatu and Nauru.

The Olympic qualifier final was won by Australia where a late try gave them a 19-12 victory over Samoa. Australia continued its undefeated streak by defeating Fiji in the overall final 22-7 to win the Oceania title. Japan finished third after defeating Samoa 26-21 while fifth place went to Tonga after their 31-0 win over Papua New Guinea.

Samoa and Tonga for the men and Papua New Guinea and Samoa for the women will have one more opportunity to qualify to the Olympics via the Final Olympic Qualification Tournament. Continental qualifiers continue this weekend with quotas to be decided in Africa (men’s) and Asia (women’s).

Qualified Nations

Men’s Tournament
* Australia

Women’s Tournament
* Fiji

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