Rio 2016: Fiji beat Samoa in sevens to lead race for Olympics

Jasa Veremalua
Fiji edge closer to a place at Rio 2016 with victory in the first round

Jasa Veremalua's last-minute try handed Fiji victory over Samoa in the opening round of the rugby sevens world series.external-link

Their 31-24 success in the final in Gold Coast, Australia, has given them a head start in pursuit of Olympic glory.

The series, made up of nine rounds, is a qualifier for Rio 2016 with the top four automatically going to the Games.

England beat New Zealand in the quarter-final of the first round with a 31-7 victory, but suffered a heavy 48-7 defeat to Fiji in the semi-final.

Rugby sevens world series schedule
Round 1: Australia (Gold Coast) 11-12 Oct 2014; Round 2: Dubai 5-6 Dec 2014; Round 3: South Africa (Port Elizabeth) 13-14 Dec 2014; Round 4: New Zealand (Wellington) 6-7 Feb 2015; Round 5: USA (Las Vegas) 13-15 Feb 2015; Round 6: Hong Kong 27-29 Mar 2015; Round 7: Japan (Tokyo) 4-5 Apr 2015; Round 8: Scotland (Glasgow) 9-10 May 2015; Round 9: England (London) 16-17 May 2015.

Samoa reached the final with a 28-12 win over South Africa, who knocked out Australia in the quarter-final.

England took third place after beating South Africa 19-0, while defending champions New Zealand won the plate competition with victories over Wales and Argentina.

The next leg of the nine-round series is in Dubai in December.

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