HSBC SVNS 2024: Grand Final kicks off as Fiji and Ireland win thrillers

HSBC SVNS MAD got off to a thrilling start as Fiji sealed a 28-26 victory over New Zealand, while Ireland snatched their own last-gasp 26-21 win over South Africa thanks to a Gavin Mullin winner.

With legend Jerry Tuwai back in the side, Iowane Teba’s spectacular last-minute conversion was the difference for Fiji, as Ireland put on a spectacular offloading display to send Mullin over for the win.

Both sides are sure to be favourites to be crowned HSBC SVNS 2024 Champions, as are HSBC SVNS League Winners Argentina, who looked back to their best in a 31-5 win over Great Britain.

In the HSBC SVNS Play-off tournament, Canada and Samoa both went winless on day one to put huge dents in their core status hopes.


HSBC SVNS Championship

Pool A

France recorded a record 38-5 win over Australia to sit top of Pool A going into day two. Paulin Riva, Jordan Sepho and Varian Pasquet gave the French a 19-0 lead at half-time, one that proved unassailable as France added three more. Hayden Sargeant got a last-minute reply to avoid the doughnut for Australia.  

Argentina took the early lead inn their game with GB as Joaquin Pellandini scored a three-minute brace, Rodrigo Isgro adding a third before the break for a 19-5 half-time lead.

Los Pumas Sevens defended well in the second half, keeping GB scoreless and scoring twice more themselves for a 31-5 win.

Pool B

Fiji and New Zealand played out a thriller to open the men’s Championship proceedings in Madrid, Fiji eventually taking a 28-26 win.

A game that saw the momentum swing back and forth was eventually edged by Teba, coolly adding the extras on Ponepati Loganimasi’s late score with a kick that inched over the bar from wide on the left sideline.

South Africa led Ireland 14-7 at the break after tries from Tiaan Pretorius and Tristan Leyds, but Zac Ward levelled the scores shortly after half time.

Mullin got his first score with just a minute to go, and brilliant offloading would eventually see the Irishman cross late for the winner with the clock in the red.

HSBC SVNS Play-off

Pool A

The opening game of men’s action in Madrid saw a match-up between the HSBC Sevens Challenger first seeds, Uruguay, and the 12th seeds from HSBC SVNS 2024, Canada. However, with Matt Oworu sent off in the first minute, it was an uneven contest throughout, the Uruguayans taking full advantage as they ran in seven tries.

Canada needed to hit back in their against Germany, but there was heartbreak as Jakob Dipper’s late score cancelled out what looked to be a winner from Jack Carson to send Canada into day two without a win.

The USA proved too strong a test for Uruguay in their second game. While tries from Juan González and Bautista Basso cancelled out a double-quick brace from Lucas Lacamp to go into the break 14-14, Kevon Williams and Malacchi Esdale took the Americans to a 29-14 win.

The USA had already beaten Germany by 40-19 in their opener. 

Pool B

A brace from Patrick Odongo Okong'o saw Kenya stun Samoa with a 19-12 victory in the opening game of Pool B.

Kenya, who finished second in the Sevens Challeger series, kept pace with Samoa at 12-12 at the break, and after a second from Okong'o it was up to Samoa to reply, but a dropped ball with the clock in the red sealed their defeat.

Samoa tasted defeat for a second time In Madrid against Chile, falling agonisingly short as the South Americans held on for a 21-19 win. Steve Onosai scores late for Samoa to give them hope, but Faafoi Falaniko failed to equalise with the conversion.

Spain were 29-12 winners over Chile in their first game, and took the lead in Pool B by holding on for a 10-5 victory over Kenya.