CARSON, California (AP) — New Zealand beat Olympic champion Fiji 28-21 in the final of the Los Angeles rugby sevens tournament Sunday immediately after Australia clinched its first World Series title, a championship decided in the penultimate match of a season which began nine months ago.
Several teams were in the hunt for the title when the last tournament began and new potential winners emerged as fortunes changed over two eventful days.
South Africa entered the tournament atop the World Series standings but only two points clear of Australia. When South Africa was twice beaten in the group stage — by the United States and New Zealand — it missed out on the quarterfinals of the elite Cup division and Australia’s chances of claiming the world title increased.
South Africa would have remained in contention if it achieved its best possible…