Sevens: New Zealand men fall to Fiji in Vancouver quarter-finals

The All Blacks Sevens are out of the Vancouver Sevens, after losing to Fiji 22-21 in the quarter-finals.

New Zealand looked set to reach the semi-finals, holding a 21-17 lead, with the ball deep inside their opponents half and 20 seconds left, but the defending champions ran the length of the field to score the match-winning try.

Just minutes earlier, Vilimone Koroi loomed as the hero, scoring a try to put the All Blacks Sevens in front, but the young flyer quickly turned villain after a poor pass that turned over possession.

New Zealand got off to a great start, as Sam Dickson opened the scoring in the third minute, before Fiji responded with back-to-back tries to Josua Vakurunabili and Aminiasi Tuimaba.

Tim Mikkelson hit back right, with Andrew Knewstubb converting both tries, and the All Blacks Sevens led 14-12 at the halftime break.

Tuimaba scored his second after the break to put Fiji back in front, before Koroi stormed through to put New Zealand back in front with a minute remaining.

Then Koroi's flick pass was intercepted by Paula Dranisinukula, who found Alosio Sovita Naduva to score Fiji's fourth just before the fulltime siren.

Naduva's try was referred to the TMO, as the linesman wasn't sure the Fijian had grounded the ball cleanly, but replays confirmed he had.

The result caps off a below-par Vancouver tournament for New Zealand. Despite finishing top of their pool, they lost to Spain during their second pool match on day one.

After beating France 45-7, the Commonwealth Games champions were stunned 26-24 by Spain, with a try after the fulltime siren as the European team claimed their first-ever win over New Zealand.

The All Blacks Sevens responded with a 36-12 win over Australia to top their pool and reach the quarter-finals. Spain could not repeat their heroics and lost their other pool games to miss the quarter-finals.

However, New Zealand bounced back to finish fifth after beating England 26-19 in the fifth-placed final. 

Earlier, they came back from 14 points down to beat Argentina 26-21 in the fifth place semi-final.