March 28 - Samoa came from behind to beat New Zealand 24-21 and win the Hong Kong Sevens, taking the lead in the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens World Series with two tournaments left in the season, in a thrilling tournament watched by Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The win gave Samoa 30 points and an overall 124 points in the season standings.

The Kiwis dropped to second with 121 points.

Kurt Baker, who scored four tries in New Zealand's semi-final victory over Fiji, crossed twice in the first four minutes to help the Kiwis race to a 14-0 lead.

Samoa responded with two tries, but missed a conversion, finishing the half trailing by two points.

Then Mikaele Pesamino scored two consecutive tries and Lolo Lui made one conversion to put Samoa ahead 24-14.

The Samoans held on to that lead for most of the second half thanks to tenacious defensive play, making a late try and conversion by New Zealand meaningless.

Samoa had beaten England 28-24 earlier to reach what was their fourth consecutive final.

Rogge (pictured with IRB President Bernard Lapasset), a former Belgian rugby international, was among the 40,000 fans who enjoyed the party atmosphere. 

He was attending event after the sport was given Olympic status in October.

Sevens will debut at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Samoa and England each scored two tries in the first half.

But Ben Gollings missed a conversion which allowed Samoa a 14-12 lead at half-time. England then went up 19-14 after Mat Turner scored and Gollings converted, but Pesamino and Lui crossed to give Samoa the victory.

Australia defeated South Africa 12-5 in the plate final, earning 16 points under new tournament rules that divert the losing quarter-finalists into the plate competition.

As a losing plate finalist, South Africa were given 10 points.

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