Pic: Ian Muir
The following article originally appeared on www.benryan.co.uk written by Ben Ryan.
Ben Ryan is one of the most respected and successful rugby sevens coaches in the world. After six years in charge of the England Sevens team, he led Fiji to back-to-back World Sevens Series titles and a Gold medal win at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Ben is an ambassador for HSBC and Fiji Airways, and currently a consultant for many world class organisations, both within and outside the sporting world.
Why do so many coaches and ex-players, and even ones on the injured list, sometimes wish the team they coached or played for doesn’t do as well now as when they were involved? Worried that the team gets better once you’ve left, or the coach or player that’s replaced you is more influential and successful? This attitude transcends all sports and you see the same in business.
It’s pretty common, and I’m not ashamed to say it’s crossed my mind before. Why? A lack of self-confidence perhaps? A feeling that somehow your self-worth is directly connected to it all? I’ve lost count of the coaches and players that have tried to hide this feeling, but it is all too obvious in their actions and deeds.
When it comes down to it, ego is the core of the problem. You might think you aren’t driven by it, but ego rears its self-serving head and reminds you it still can control and affect you. I find all this fascinating as I’ve felt it first hand.
You publicly say you want the team you used to coach, or played for, to do well, and you honestly believe this. Suddenly you’re watching them and it’s down to the last few minutes or seconds. Those thoughts in your head bubble up and, for some reason, you hope they lose, that they don’t replicate the successes you felt you had. It makes no logical sense but makes all the sense when ego is involved.
I’m in a situation now that I want Fiji to do well. I want them to win. I truly do. Anyone that saw me at the Dubai 7s screaming like a mad man at the team, and castigating the referee for any decision that didn’t go the team’s way, would have seen that. It wasn’t an act.
There are, however, the small noises in your head and they say stuff like:
“What if they win more things than under me?”
“Everyone says Fiji have apparently the best players so the next coach after Ben will do just as well. Coaching Fiji is easy.”
When you look at it from afar, it’s all ridiculous to feel like this, and I don’t feel like this at all now. It’s taken me time to be aware of my feelings, work out where they are coming from, and then finally deal with them.
I left England 7s under difficult circumstances. Imagine a scenario, one I am sure happens far too often, where you’re given an ultimatum by someone that you either resign and get a pay off, or you must reapply for your job. This message to you is quietly slipped under the proverbial rug as you sign a non disclosure agreement. The press release comes out saying you have resigned.
I was sore how me departure from England 7s happened and I felt let down and unfairly treated. This did lead me to being resentful, and I think if my time coaching Fiji hadn’t happened then this feeling would have only festered and made things worse. Luckily for me, the Islands came calling and changed me forever.
There is a Greek word called ‘euthymia‘. I know this because I had a bottle of red wine once that was called something close to this, so I googled it and up came this;
Euthymia – a Greek word means ‘the sense of our own path and how we should stay on it without getting distracted’.
It’s not about being better than the next man or the next team, it’s about being as good as you possibly can be.
The devil on your shoulder
You probably will have missed seeing this unless you had a very keen eye over the last few years, but we actually used a little trigger in training and matches with Fiji that is a good analogy for this. We used to talk about the little devil on your shoulder that appears sometimes when the going gets tough. It might be a really hard session when you want to take your foot off the gas, or a long passage of play when you feel like having a few more seconds on the floor after a tackle rather than get up and get back into the action. The boys would just flick off that imaginary devil on their shoulder to trigger positive thinking.
It’s a bit like that with your ego. When you have those selfish thoughts I’m talking about, you need to have that trigger to give you that self-awareness and push your ego aside.
As I constantly say, being the best version of yourself is what matters. That’s what helps give you contentment as well as a clear and uncluttered vision. It’s about how you can improve and be better, rather than take pot shots at others. About how you should feel proud watching an old team, or business, doing well, knowing that you were part of the foundations for that success. Leaving your team in a better place and being proud of what they are now achieving without you. Of course the opposite can also occur, and you can leave an organisation in a far worse state if you opt for short-sighted vision over long-term and legacy. More to come on this in a future blog.
Photo: www.rugby.com.au / Stuart Walmsley
England's Sevens Men's team stayed unbeaten after the opening day of the Commonwealth Games 7s competition. Simon Amor's team finished the group stage in top position after convincing victories over Jamaica (38-5) and Samoa (0-33). In the Pool decider against hosts Australia, England were level 12-12 at half-time but dominated the second half to win 26-17. England will face New Zealand in tomorrow’s semi-final.
Australia, under captain Jesse Parahi, finished the pool second and will face Kenya in the 5th place play-off match tomorrow.
In Group A, World Sevens Series champions and Gold medallists of the last Commonwealth Games, South Africa, only conceded one try all day, when they beat Scotland 26-5. In the opening match, they faced Malaysia (43-0) before they overcame Papua New Guinea 0-52.
The Blitzbokke will play rivals Fiji in the other semi-final, a heavily anticipated encounter between two of the worlds best 7s teams.
The Scots also managed to get away with a clean sheet against Malaysia (41-0) and Papua New Guinea (27-0), however, the defeat against South Africa means they miss out on the medals play-offs.
Gareth Baber, a Welshman, and current Fiji coach, almost fail to beat his home nation in the group D decider. However, eventually, the flying Fijians proved once more their outstanding quality by beating Wales 21-17. Previously, they overcame Sri Lanka 63-5 and Uganda 54-0 effortlessly.
England’s semi-final opponent New Zealand dominated Group C, with wins over Zambia (54-0), Kenya (7-40) and Canada (7-33).
In the remaining pool matches of the women’s competition, New Zealand beat Canada 24-7 and South Africa lost to Kenya’s ladies 10-19.
The Black Ferns will go head to head with England’s women’s team, who beat Wales 45-0 in their respective group match. The other semi-final will be between heavy title favourites Australia. The Olympic champions beat Fiji 17-10 to secure a semi-final against Canada.
The knock-out matches resume tomorrow morning with the women’s placing 5-8 at 12.31 AM (BST). The Gold medal matches are scheduled for 05:42 AM (BST)
Commonwealth Games | Results: Day 1 Men's
Commonwealth Games | Results: Day 2 Women's
Commonwealth Games | Fixtures Finals
Picture: NZ7s, Facebook Page
New Zealand’s men’s and women’s team both won Gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games rugby sevens tournament. The men’s team managed to secure their title from the Games four years ago in Glasgow by beating Fiji 14-0.
Tries from Etene Nanai-Seturo and Regan Ware were just enough to win the match. In the women’s final, a repeat of the Olympic Gold medal match hosts Australia went head-to-head against rivals New Zealand.
The two outstanding female 7s teams in recent years underlined once more the high standard of women’s rugby. While the Aussie women won the battle in Rio two year’s ago, the Silver Ferns left the pitch victoriously this time after an extra-time thriller. Kelly Brazier was New Zealand’s hero as she ran 80 metres to score the winning try to win 17-12.
England’s 7s teams also finished the tournament with silverware, as both teams won Bronze. Simon Amor’s men's team beat top favourites South Africa 21-14, while the women’s overcame Canada 24 -19 in a replay of the Olympic Bronze final.
Gold medal Match | New Zealand 14 - 0 Fiji
Bronze Medal Match | Canada 19 - 24 England
Semi-finals | England 12-17 New Zealand
South Africa 19-24 Fiji
5th-6th | Australia 26-0 Scotland
7th-8th | Kenya 24-28 Wales
5th-8th | Australia 33-5 Kenya
5th-8th | Scotland 19-12 Wales
Gold medal Match | Australia 12-17 New Zealand
Bronze Medal Match | Canada 19-24 England
Semi-finals | Australia 33-7 Canada
Semi-finals | New Zealand 26-5 England
5th-6th | Fiji 40-5 Kenya
7th-8th | South Africa 14-19 Wales
5th-8th | Fiji 40-12 South Africa
5th-8th | Kenya 14-12 Wales
Pic: World Rugby
For the second time this season, England beat South Africa in the final to win Gold at the Canada Sevens in Vancouver. The 19-7 victory helped England to move to second position in the table and reduce the gap to leaders South Africa to 23 points.
Back-to-back series champions Fiji drop to third in the standings (100 points) after a close 28-24 win over USA in the Bronze final.
Once again it was Gloucester-born Dan Norton who lead England to the Cup win with an outstanding performance, resulting in the DHL Impact Player award, HSBC Player of the Final award and also levelling Kenya’s Collins Injera record for all-time tries on the series.
Earlier in the Cup semi-finals South Africa beat a strong USA team 14-10, while England overcame Fiji 40-7 in an impressive display.
The series continues with the Hong Kong Sevens on 7th of April.
Canada Sevens | Results
Text, Photos and Videos: World Rugby
Winning their second ever Cup final, the first in 2015 at the London Sevens, Mike Friday’s men thrilled the crowds and held opponents Argentina to a zero score line after another blockbuster day of rugby in Las Vegas.
USA, unbeaten in the weekend’s tournament, outplayed Fiji in the Cup semi-final 19-7 and faced stiff opposition in Argentina who also went into the game with a clean sheet and a well-worked 12-10 victory over South Africa. Eager to improve on last year’s Bronze finish in Vegas, USA secured a 28-0 victory with Perry Baker getting their first points on the board. Barrett’s first try followed and two successful conversions from Folau Niua gave the hosts a 14-0 halftime lead. Barrett added his second score straight out of the gates and after holding firm USA added a fourth and final try through Carlin Isles, Niua successfully kicking four from four to seal an emphatic victory at full time.
On a momentous day for USA Sevens, head coach Mike Friday said, “Credit to the men in the arena they were outstanding, they went out there and executed. They’ve executed all three days but especially today we had to change tactics for the Fiji semi we then had to readjust for the Final everyone delivered and that’s great to see. This is a total squad effort and I’m lucky to have such a great bunch of players and support staff.
“We want to show the sporting landscape in the USA what rugby can be and how that fits within the American landscape and this hopefully will touch and reach a lot of sports fans who realise they’ve got another national team that they can be proud of and that they can support.”
HSBC Player of the Final, Barrett added, ”It's such a team effort, we've worked so hard for so long. Three straight years in a semi-final in Las Vegas and to come here, missing our captain and missing a number of players, it's just so amazing to win on home soil. A second Cup final ever for the USA and it feels great to be at home."
It was day full of breath-taking action as Fiji, champions in New Zealand, beat South Africa 26-22 in the Bronze Final, whilst France secured the Challenge Trophy with a 26-19 win over Canada.
USA Sevens | Results Day 3
World Rugby Sevens Series | Standings
A pair of tries from Kalione Nasoko and Vilimoni Botitu helped Fiji beat USA 29-15 in the Cup final in Cape Town and secure their first HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series victory in South Africa since 2005.
Text, Picture and Video: World Rugby
It was Fiji's first final since 2009 and completed a fantastic weekend — in which they remained unbeaten — by defeating the United States.
Nasoko opened the scoring with a solo run after some excellent Fiji defending, before they were handed two gift tries. First Botitu got between a Madison Hughes pass and was free to run from deep in his own half, and then Perry Baker fumbled a one-handed play for Sevuloni Mocenacagi to capitalise.
He has done it! England’s star winger Dan Norton became the world’s all-time top try-scorer in Hong Kong after day one. Norton has no scored 245 tries, one more than Kenya’s Collins Injera.
Speaking of breaking the record, Norton said: "It was a nice feeling. The hardest thing was trying to control my brain this week and concentrate on the process that got me here in the first place. It was always nice to get it out of the way.
"There's a lot more to come but obviously Collins (Injera) is still out there playing so now it's about doing as well as we can for our country and win as many tournaments as we can."
Dan Norton’s was one of many records at a remarkable day in Hong Kong. England’s captain Tom Mitchell claimed his 100th series try, while Australia's Ed Jenkins, Canada's Nathan Hirayama and South Africa's Cecil Afrika all appeared in their 50th tournament.
The three-day competition kicked-off with the match between Australia and Samoa which Australia could win 22-19 while England beat South Korea 52-0. In Pool B, Canada overcame Kenya in a tight, physical affair 17-14 while series leaders South Africa took on France, a game which the Blitzboks won 17-10.
In Pool C, New Zealand had to start the tournament without captain Scott Curry, who pulled out due to illness. However, the All Blacks Sevens team under replacement skipper DJ Forbes still managed to snatch a 19-7 win over Wales on Day 1. In the group of death, Fiji defeated Japan 36-0.
Finally, in Pool D Argentina won 22-14 against Scotland, while the USA beat Russia 14-7 in another close encounter.
The action continues on Saturday when the final qualifier pool games kick-off the action at 09:00 (GMT +7), before the series resumes in front of a sold-out crowd in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Sevens | Results Day 1
Hong Kong Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
(Picture & Text: World Rugby)
This season's rivalry between South Africa and England took another turn in Singapore as the English came back from a poor start to the day to defeat the Blitzboks in pool play for the fourth time in 2016-17.
On a day of twists and turns in the National Stadium, England went through as one of the Cup quarter-finalists and will face Kenya, while Fiji takes on USA, Australia plays South Africa and New Zealand battle Canada. Three teams went unbeaten as Fiji, Australia and New Zealand took three wins from three, while Japan claimed yet another scalp on the world stage as Damian Karauna's side beat France.
Australia, who impressed last week in Hong Kong, maintained a perfect record but in the process lost key players in Ed Jenkins, James Stannard and captain Tom Lucas. Meanwhile, last year's HSBC Singapore Sevens champions Kenya remain in contention as they won twice on Saturday against Argentina and Samoa to ensure a place in the last eight.
Following their impressive victory at the Hong Kong Sevens the previous week, Olympic champions Fiji continued their winning streak at the pool stages in Singapore on Saturday. First up were invitational side Hong Kong who were re-introduced to the world series with a 52-0 defeat, before the Fijians put Russia away, 38-7.
Canada also teed-up a top of the table pool clash with the Fijians as they overcame Russia, 28-15, before putting Hong Kong to the sword, 34-0.
While Canada took the game to Fiji in the opening minutes and were unfortunate not to score early on, a hat-trick from Waisea Nacuqu along with scores from Sevuloni Mocenagaci and Mesulame Kunavula saw the Fijians top the pool with a 35-7 win. Elsewhere, Hong Kong got their first win as they beat Russia, 26-19.
France hadn’t beaten England since Las Vegas in 2016, and they started their day by amending that with a 24-14 victory in Singapore. Despite Ollie Lyndsey-Hague’s opening score, two tries by Jean Pascal Barraque led France to a win against Simon Amor's outfit, who currently sit third in the standings.
The French proved that their first game was not a one-off as they brought the game to series leaders South Africa as the crowds continued to roll into the National Stadium on a humid Saturday afternoon. But even though South Africa were reduced to six men, two tries from Siviwe Soyizwapi cancelled out the one score from France's Sacha Valleau, as it finished 10-7 in favour of the Blitzboks.
In other Pool B play, South Africa beat Japan 52-0 and while the latter scored two tries against England, it finished 40-10 to English.
Arguably the upset of the night came in the early evening as Japan took on a buoyant French side. The Japanese, who finished just outside the medals at the Olympic Games in Rio last August, have failed to ignite on the series so far this season, but it finally came together for them in Singapore as they went 7-0 up through Katsuyuki Sakai before Kameli Soejima made it 14-0, much to the delight of the crowd at the National Stadium.
France struck back after the break through Jerermy Aicardi but another Japanese try in the corner from Patrick Stehlin extended the lead and a late French try was only as a consolation as they celebrated a 21-14 win.
Kenya returned to the National Stadium in Singapore as tournament champions and hoped to put their poor series form behind them. Things seemed to go to plan as they opened the proceedings on day one with two tries from Frank Wanyama helping them to a 22-5 win over Argentina.
Samoa, who seem to be growing at each tournament under legendary coach Gordon Tietjens, took the fight to Australia in the second game of the day, but for the second time in as many weeks, the Samoans came up short as two tries from Simon Kennewell saw the Australians grind out a 19-12 win.
Later in Pool C, Argentina scored three tries as they beat Samoa 17-7 and Australia put Kenya away easily, 27-7.
The clincher came later in the day. Both Australia and Argentina have been promising much all season and both sides were keen to win this pool decider. Charlie Taylor opened the scoring for Australia but a touch of class from Franco Sabato, who showed his football skills to catch the bounce perfectly and score, locked the match at seven points each at the break. Kennewell put his side ahead in the second half and it was super-sub Henry Hutchison who scored shortly after coming on to make sure Australia topped the pool on day one.
The three wins weren't without a downside however, as skipper Tom Lucas was taken off with a knock while experienced duo James Stannard (nose) and Ed Jenkins (shoulder) won't play any part on day two.
Kenya later beat Samoa, 17-7, to ensure they stayed in contention to retain their HSBC Singapore Sevens crown.
New Zealand’s Joe Webber made his return to the All Black Sevens for the first time since Sydney in 2016 when he came on against Scotland. The All Black Sevens took an early lead with tries from Regan Ware, Joe Ravouvou and Trael Joass but Scotland fought their way back in with tries from Mark Robertson, Scott Wight and Joseva Nayacavou. Scotland will rue some mistakes over the 14 minutes as the men in black took the win, 22-21.
It was Webber who signed off on a top team try later in the day when he touched down for New Zealand in their win over Wales, 36-14.
The World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year will be announced at the end of the year and already it’s fair to say that Perry Baker could arguably be involved. The number 11, who scored nine tries in Hong Kong last week, got his day started with two magnificent tries against Wales as the Americans walked away with a 35-19 win. He then started the second game as he finished the first, scoring another scorcher against Scotland from deep in his own half as they won again 33-26 in a close, physical encounter. Scotland finished bottom of the group after they lost to Wales, 19-21.
Sam Dickson scored his 50th series try to open the scoring in the last match of the evening as New Zealand took on USA in the pool decider. The Americans lost Perry Baker early and New Zealand were denied a try before a sublime offload by Joe Ravouvou set up Regan Ware to make it 14-0 at the break. Big Danny Barrett powered over in the second half, before a converted try from Ware helped New Zealand top the pool with a 21-14 win.
Singapore Sevens | Results Day 1
Singapore Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
Canada won their first ever HSBC World Rugby Sevens series tournament after beating USA 26-19 in a heart-stopping final in Singapore.
The Canadians raced ahead into a 19-0 lead but USA scored twice through Perry Baker in a thrilling finale. A try in the dying moments from Lucas Hammond sealed the win for Damian McGrath's side.
Shocks and upsets were the order of the day as Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand all crashed out on at the quarter-final stages of the tournament on Sunday.
Elsewhere England won the bronze medal match at the National Stadium after beating Australia 14-12 while Wales beat Scotland 24-12 to win the Challenge Trophy.
Speaking after the historic match, HSBC Player of the Final Nathan Hirayama said: "It's an unbelievable feeling. A lot of us have been on the scene a long time and we came through some dark times, but to come away with that win was special."
Coach Damian McGrath, who coached Samoa to a shock win at the HSBC Paris Sevens last year, added: "It's incredible. Last night (on day one) we were beaten by Fiji so we had a little bit of soul searching and then we came back and beat some of the best teams in the world. This will show that Canadian rugby has so much to offer."
USA ran out in a tournament final for the first time since they won the HSBC London Sevens in 2015 and while Canada played in the Glasgow Sevens final in 2014 they hadn't featured in one since and never claimed a series tournament win.
The game kicked off with a quick try from Canada's Matt Mullins and while the USA was processing that, the Canadians struck again through Harry Jones to make it 12-0. USA pushed up the field but a break saw Mike Fuailefau touchdown after a kick ahead, and the Canadians were suddenly 19-0 ahead. Safe to say, USA were not expecting that.
But it wasn't long before speedster Perry Baker turned on the after-burners and one try followed by another from Stephen Tomasin made it 19-12 at half time; game on.
And then it looked like Canada would be waiting another lifetime for a precious tournament win. After the resumption of play, Baker, in imperious form all weekend, flashed down the win for yet another try to leave the USA fans at the National Stadium in full voice as the match was levelled, 19-19.
The match went back and forth until Lucas Hammond seized on an opening in the American defence to score and the Canadians hung on to claim the top prize on the night.
Captain John Moonlight said afterwards: “It’s hard to put that into words. We took a licking against Fiji yesterday, and from our coach. But we showed up today, we showed the world we can beat anyone. We beat three of the best teams today. We are flying. An unbelievable feeling.”
The action now moves to Paris for the penultimate round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series on May 13 and 14 at Stadium Jean Bouin. Click here to find out where you can watch the action.
Singapore Sevens | Results
HSBC Sevens World Series | Standings
Australia qualified for the Cup quarter-finals of the HSBC Sydney Sevens after a sunny first day of action, while England, Wales and New Zealand stayed unbeaten in the pool stage.
The Australians will face Wales in just their second Cup quarter-final of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17. Wales topped their pool after a magnificent win against Fiji, thanks to a hat-trick from Morgan Williams.
England recovered well from last week’s disappointing performance. Three out of three wins, including one over series leaders South Africa and with Dan Norton becoming the second highest try scorer of all-time, England created a dream start to the tournament. They will face Argentina in the Cup quarter-finals on day two of the men's event.
New Zealand will play Fiji after they managed three victories against Scotland, Papua New Guinea and hosts Australia. USA will challenge South Africa in the Cup quarter-finals. The Americans lost to Russia in the opening game but won the remaining matches against Canada and Argentina.
Meanwhile, Kenya will play Russia, Scotland face Samoa, Canada meet Japan and France take on Papua New Guinea in the Challenge Trophy quarter-finals on Sunday.
ENGLAND v ARGENTINA
NEW ZEALAND v FIJI
USA v SOUTH AFRICA
WALES v AUSTRALIA
While the men’s tournament continues on Sunday, the women’s competition finished with a breath taking final and a number of great surprises. Olympic Bronze winners Canada beat rivals USA 21-17 to claim their third tournament win, in front of a packed house at the Allianz Stadium.
After a disappointing performance in Dubai, USA shocked New Zealand to reach the final, while Canada overcame top-favourites Australia 12-7 in the second semi-final of the day.
Meanwhile, on a day of shock results, Brazil beat England 17-12 to claim the Challenge Trophy as New Zealand went on to beat their rivals Australia to claim the bronze medal on Saturday.
In the overall standings, New Zealand is now, with 36 points, four points ahead of Australia (32) followed by Canada (30 pts) and Fiji (24 pts). Click here for the full standings.
Cup Final | USA 17 - 21 CAN
Bronze Final | NZL 19 - 0 AUS
Challenge Trophy | ENG 12 -17 BRA
Sydney Sevens Men's | Results Day 1
Sydney Sevens Men's | Fixtures Day 2
Sydney Sevens Women's | Results Day 2
At the opening day of the Sydney Sevens, hosts Australia, Olympic silver medallists New Zealand and Russia remained unbeaten. The second round of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series kicked off early this Friday at the Allianz Stadium.
England’s women disappointed on day one after they failed to qualify for the Cup quarter-finals for the first time ever. James Bailey’s team lost to Russia and USA in their respective Pool C and have to compete for the Challenge Trophy on Saturday. England will face Papua New Guinea in the early hours of the second tournament day.
Ireland and Fiji both qualified for the quarter-finals together with France, New Zealand and Canada.
New Zealand v France
Ireland v USA
Australia v Fiji
Russia v Canada
You can follow the Sydney Sevens women's tournament live here.
Sydney Sevens Women's | Results Day 1
Sydney Sevens Women's | Fixtures Day 2
They’ve done it again! South Africa underlined their hot-favourite status with the third tournament win this season, following a 29-14 win against England in the final of the Sydney Sevens.
The Blitzboks played in all four finals of the HSBC Sevens World Series 2016/17. They faced England for the second time in a final this season and while England managed to beat South Africa on their home ground in December, this time it was all about the men in green.
Once again it was Seabelo Senatla who led the team with an incredible performance throughout the past two days. This was the last tournament for the HSBC Player of the Final as Senatla will join Super Rugby franchise Stormers.
Tries from captain Philip Snyman, Senatla and Justin Geduld went unanswered in the first half plus another one from Geduld in the second half sealed the game early. England captain Tom Mitchell as well as Dan Norton scored in the second half but it was too little too late.
Meanwhile, New Zealand beat Australia to claim bronze while Russia walked away with the Challenge Trophy in Sydney after beating France, 26-0.
After four rounds, South Africa leads the table with 85 points, followed by England (68 pts), Fiji (64 pts) and New Zealand (56 pts).
The series now moves to Las Vegas next month for the fifth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which again joins up with the women's series.
Cup Final | South Africa 29 - 14 England
Bronze Final | New Zealand 29 - 14 Australia
Challenge Trophy | Russia 26 - 0 France
Sydney Sevens | Results Day 2
Admittedly, it was rather disappointing to follow the first day of the Wellington Sevens, witnessing a 34,500 seater that looked empty. Considering that tickets for this tournament used to be the most popular in town, the organisers seemed to struggle with ticket sales this year. Stricter rules on alcohol consumption and an attempt to make the event more family-friendly didn’t attract the desired numbers. Officially, around 10.000 people visited the tournament on Saturday. Hopefully, numbers will pick up again on the second day and in future, because the Wellington Sevens are one of the most prestigious stops on the circuit.
Whereas the atmosphere off the pitch was nowhere near the usual party bash that we all love, the quality on the pitch didn’t let anyone down. Hosts New Zealand went, as expected, unbeaten through day one. The big surprise though came from Canada. The North-Americans won all three of their pool games against Wales, Scotland and Russia to set up a quarter-final against Argentina on Sunday.
In the "Pool of death", current series leaders South Africa beat Fiji, Australia and Japan. Besides New Zealand, South Africa and Canada, England also remained unbeaten as they overcame Papua New Guinea (40-0), Argentina (26-7) and Kenya (31-12).
The Cup quarter-finals on Sunday see England play Scotland, New Zealand face Fiji, Canada take on Argentina, while South Africa play France.
Day 2 of the Wellington Sevens starts tomorrow at 11.00am local time (22.00 UK time). You can follow all matches on Sky Sports or here.
Wellington Sevens | Results Day 1
Wellington Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
This article originally appeared on
With the HSBC 7's world series set to kick-off once again in Las Vegas over the weekend, the question on everyone's mind is can South Africa's Blitzbokkes be stopped?
Sevens is a simple game –seven minutes a half and seven players a side on one full-size rugby pitch. The game is praised and loved for its unpredictability and uncompromising high paced action. Anything can happen at any time.
However, as 7s fans around the globe are looking forward to another back-to-back weekend of action in Las Vegas and a week later in Vancouver, the World Sevens Series leaders South Africa seem have certainly dominated this season thus far with three titles from four rounds.
While South Africa’s 15-a-side team currently faces a bit of a crisis, the 7s squad is on track to win their second title after 2009. A series win would follow a frustrating run of finishing as runners up on multiple occasions. It has been a tough record for Neil Powell's men as they look to claim a long overdue title.
However, there are still a lot of matches to be played this season so the question is who can stop South Africa during the remaining six rounds. Their lead in the overall standings shows that it is going to be a massive task for any team to get in their way. South Africa leads the table with 85 points and has a comfortable 17 points lead ahead of second placed team England. Olympic Champions Fiji and New Zealand are currently sitting in third and fourth position respectively.
But with Fiji and New Zealand, both going through a bit of a restructure since the two Southern Hemisphere heavyweights appointed new coaches, it might take a while until they get back on the winning track.
England however have showed that they are capable of winning tournaments and even more important that they can beat the Blitzboks. Simon Amour’s side caused a massive upset earlier in the season when they beat the hosts in the final of the Cape Town Sevens.
England has developed into a top-class team following some disappointing seasons in recent years. The current squad is made up of up and coming young talents and very experience players. With Dan Norton aiming to become the All-Time try scorer and playmaker Tom Mitchell leading from the front, the team will remain a serious contender for at least a few more tournament wins, if not the big prize. Additionally, Team GB’s Olympic silver-medal win gave England a further confidence boost – and let’s not forget who they beat on their way to the final (yep, it was South Africa in the semi-final).
At the same time South Africa will play for the first time without their Superstar Seabelo Senatla in Las Vegas and it will be exciting to find out how they cope without him. The twenty-four-year old joined Super Rugby franchise the Stormers for the start of their new Super Rugby season.
Certainly this side has quality in all areas and it’s not just South Africa’s starting 7 which have looked so convincing thus far but also the bench which is unbelievably strong. The team has already scored a whopping 107 tries during the first four tournaments, which is fourteen more than closest rivals Fiji.
But Senatla is without a doubt the talisman for the Blitzboks. He scored the most points and tries for his team. Earlier this week, Senatla was nominated for the Springboks XV training squad, which just underlines his outstanding rugby skills. There is no doubt that he will leave a strong impression in the 15-a-side game as well.
With an England side that is hungry for their first-ever series win and a South African side that knows how to succeed but has to deal without their scoring machine, the next couple of weeks will be absolutely crucial in the race for the 17th World Sevens Series title.
Rugby union in New Zealand continues to thrive, with the All Blacks, across all formats of the game, an exceptional talent who just have a habit of picking up trophy after trophy.
The exploits of the All Blacks in the 15-man game is impressive, whilst in the seven-a-side game, New Zealand once again find themselves on top of the world.
The 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens have just been held in San Francisco, where the All Blacks impressed, completing a historic double, with the men crowned champions alongside the women.
New Zealand’s women’s side beat France comprehensively in the final, winning 29-0, whilst in the men’s code, the All Blacks defeated England 33-12 in San Francisco.
Following a four week, well-deserved break, the HSBC World Sevens Series continues with a thrilling and tasty three-day tournament when the 16 teams meet once again at the legendary Hong Kong Sevens this weekend.
Moving on from North America to Asia, the teams are progressing towards the last four tournaments of the season. As so often this year, the Blitzboks are the top favorites, but England will arrive with plenty of confidence after winning the last tournament in Vancouver, which leaves 23 points between the two teams.
However other 7s heavyweights such as Fiji and New Zealand are desperate to secure the very first Cup trophy in a year which is all about South Africa. Both teams have dominated in the last six years. Olympic champions Fiji, currently in third place, finished top in the previous two years at Hong Kong and are determined to add another trophy to the record.
The All Blacks Sevens, Hong Kong champions in 2011 and 2014 also share many happy memories of the prestigious mega event, which is often referred as the best 7s tournament in the world. Coach Clark Laidlaw and skipper Scott Curry are facing a tough task as they go head-to-head with rivals Fiji in Pool C together with Wales and Japan.
Traditionally Hong Kong always offers plenty of upsets and sensations. It is not just a very special weekend for the current series, but also an extremely exciting opportunity for 12 teams who are battling for to become the 15th core team for the following year's series.
Last year it was Japan who made it after beating hosts Hong Kong 24-14 to secure their spot on the 2016-17 series. It will be once again a tight affair with many strong contenders for the victory.
The Hong Kong Sevens take place at the Hong Kong Stadium (Capacity 40,000) in So Kon Po, from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th of April. The matches kick-off on Friday at 18:00 local time (GMT +8) Saturday 11:18 local time (GMT +8) and Sunday 09:30 (GMT +8). The final is scheduled for 19:00 local time on Sunday (GMT +8).
In the UK, Sky Sports will cover the tournament on all three days. For a full TV guide click here, for any other country check out this useful guide.
This could be a very special weekend for England’s Dan Norton who is set to become the series top scorer. Norton currently shares the record of 244 tries together with Kenya’s Collins Injera. One more try and the 29-year-old speedster from Gloucester will become a record-breaker.
However, Injera's selection for Kenya will make for exciting viewing over the three days as he and Norton go head-to-head to finish up top of the try scoring charts.
Australia, England, Samoa, South Korea
Canada, France, Kenya, South Africa
Fiji, Japan, New Zealand, Wales
Argentina, Scotland, Russia, USA
Germany, Jamaica, Tonga, Uganda
Chile, Hong Kong, Namibia, Sri Lanka
Guyana, Papua New Guinea, Spain, Uruguay
Australia v Samoa – 18:00
England v South Korea – 18:22
Argentina v Scotland – 18:44
USA v Russia – 19:08
New Zealand v Wales – 19:32
Fiji v Japan – 19:54
Canada v Kenya – 20:18
South Africa v France – 20:40
Papua New Guinea v Uruguay – 12:00
Spain v Guyana – 12:22
Tonga v Uganda – 12:44
Germany v Jamaica – 13:06
Chile v Sri Lanka – 13:28
Hong Kong v Namibia – 13:50
Papua New Guinea v Guyana – 14:56
Spain v Uruguay – 15:18
Tonga v Jamaica – 15:40
Germany v Uganda – 16:04
Chile v Namibia – 16:28
Hong Kong v Sri Lanka – 16:50
Hong Kong Sevens | Fixtures
(Pictures & Text via World Rugby)
All 16 teams have arrived in London as sides get set for the last round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series this coming weekend.
Twickenham plays host to the 10th round of the series, just days after South Africa wrapped up the competition with a win in Paris.
Since rugby sevens made its debut at the Olympic Games last year, the world series has received a massive boost with a reach of more than 120 million people this season on social media channels, resulting in a massive 75 million video views – up 25 per cent on the previous season.
Participation levels in rugby across the globe are now at an all-time high of 8.5 million people (30 percent of which are women and girls) while the sport also benefits from an estimated 300 million fans worldwide. The successful debut of the rugby sevens at the Olympics piqued the interest of 16.8m new fans who have now been served up the most exhilarating sevens series to-date.
The 2016-17 season has also seen the game extend to more than 200 countries and regions, with traffic to the worldrugby.org Japanese language site increased by more than 50 percent. Series attendances are also up on last year after nine rounds as sevens continue to inspire fans of all ages across the globe.
South Africa may have wrapped up the series in Paris but there is still lots to play for in Twickenham, not least for Scotland who won in London last year and were beaten in the final by South Africa on Sunday.
Captain Scott Riddell said: “I think we had a collective belief among the boys (in Paris last weekend). There’s great experience in that squad now. We weren’t chasing results at the weekend and that put us in the ascendancy.
“Last year in London (where Scotland claimed their first ever sevens tournament win) was a great day. It was incredible to be involved with. It would be great to put ourselves in that position again this weekend but we’re not getting carried away and focusing on day one at the moment. In this sport you can’t look too far ahead so we need to look at our next game.”
South Africa captain Phillip Snyman said that, despite the series win, his side are very focused on winning yet another tournament this season.
“It was a relief to win the series and it’s good not to have to go into the last tournament needing a win. We set high standards for ourselves and hopefully, we can be successful and lift the London Cup trophy as well."
After nine rounds of the series, England skipper Tom Mitchell is looking forward to a tournament on home soil: “The support we’ve had throughout the whole season has been phenomenal, but finishing the series in front of a home crowd at Twickenham means so much to the entire squad. The HSBC London Sevens is always a unique and exciting tournament which brings a real festival atmosphere to Twickenham and we can’t wait to be a part of it.”
USA’s Folau Niua will play in his 50th series tournament this weekend while his team-mate Perry Baker will be hoping to secure top try scorer for the series when it’s announced on Sunday evening in London. Baker, who has notched up 49 tries, currently leads England's Dan Norton by four in the chase for top try scorer.
Meanwhile, the nominations for the World Rugby Sevens Rookie of the Year have been announced ahead of the last round of the series.
Argentina’s Matias Osadczuk, Fiji’s Kalione Nasoko and New Zealand’s Vilimoni Koroi all impressed in their debut year and the winner will be announced at the awards ceremony that follows the tournament on Sunday evening in Twickenham.
When and Where?
The London 7s takes place at the Twickenham Stadium, on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th of May. The matches kick-off Saturday and Sunday at 09:30 local time. The final is scheduled for 17:57 local time on Sunday.
Where Can I See It?
In the UK, Sky Sports will cover the tournament on both days. For a full TV guide click here, for any other country check out this useful guide.
SOUTH AFRICA, USA, WALES, KENYA
SCOTLAND, FRANCE, ARGENTINA, RUSSIA 7
NEW ZEALAND, FIJI, CANADA, JAPAN
ENGLAND, SAMOA, AUSTRALIA, SPAIN
Full Fixture List
A massive rugby fest is coming up this weekend. With the opening round of the Six Nations, the northern hemisphere is searching for the best team in Europe. However, down south, around 25°C hotter, it is all about the 7-a-side version of our beloved game. And it is another massive one. The Sydney Sevens is a double-header, hosting the fourth round of the men’s World Sevens Series and the second turn on the women’s circuit.
With just one week to rest, this huge weekend in Australia will offer the ultimate challenge for the teams in order to remain in the race for the title.
The Sydney Sevens take place at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney’s Moore Park (Capacity 45,500 capacity) on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th of February. The Allianz hosts besides the annual 7s tournament, A-League football, rugby league and cricket matches.
The tournament kick-off on Saturday at 09:30 local time (22:30 UK time) and Sunday 10:30 local time (23:30 UK time).
See the full Day 1 fixture list below.
In the UK Sky Sports will cover the tournament on all days. For a full TV guide click here, for any other country check out this useful guide.
Without a doubt the South Africa. With week’s victory in Wellington, the Blitzboks have now won two out of three tournaments. They are in a top-form. However, it is a back-to-back tournament and a successful recovery is key. This could give other teams an advantage. Fiji, now in second position, England (3rd) and surprise package Scotland (4th) are all very keen to close the gap.
Seabelo Senatla is one of the main reasons for South Africa’s success. The 23-year old is the top try scorer and was the outstanding player in Wellington. If teams want to stop South Africa, they have to stop Senatla.
South Africa, England, Kenya, Japan
Fiji, France, Wales, Samoa
Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea,
Canada, Argentina, USA, Russia
Argentina v United States - 09.30
Canada v Russia - 09.52
France v Wales - 10.14
Fiji v Samoa - 10.36
England v Kenya - 10.58
South Africa v Japan - 11.20
New Zealand v Australia - 11.42
Scotland v Papua New Guinea - 12.04
Argentina v Russia - 12.36
Canada v United States - 12.58
France v Samoa - 13.20
Fiji v Wales - 13.42
England v Japan - 14.53
South Africa v Kenya - 15.15
New Zealand v Papua New Guinea - 15.37
Scotland v Australia - 15.59
United States v Russia - 18.23
Canada v Argentina - 18.45
Wales v Samoa - 19.07
Fiji v France - 19.29
Kenya v Japan - 19.51
South Africa v England - 20.13
Australia v Papua New Guinea - 20.35
Scotland v New Zealand - 20.57
The women’s tournament kicked-off already this Friday. For all fixtures and results click here.
Following a month off, the HSBC Sevens Series is back this weekend with the USA Sevens. Expect a massive party on and off the pitch when the women’s and men’s team conquer Las Vegas for the next three days.
The Las Vegas Sevens take place at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Nevada (Capacity 40,000 capacity) on Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th of March.
The tournament starts on Friday at 16:09 local time (00:09 UK time), Saturday 13:28 local time (21:28 UK time) and Sunday 11:24 (19:24 UK time).
In the UK Sky Sports will cover the tournament on all days. Find out where to watch the tournament outside the UK.
Are the Boks stoppable? This will be the decisive question, not just this weekend but potentially beyond Las Vegas. The team most likely to stop South Africa should be England. They beat the Blitzbokke in front of their home crowd during the final of the Cape Town Sevens and seem to found the right balanced squad eventually. In addition, South Africa has to cope without talisman Seabelo Senatla who made a move to the XV game.
South Africa, Wales, France, Canada
England, USA, Samoa, Chile
New Zealand, Argentina, Russia, Kenya
Australia, Fiji, Japan, Scotland
Fiji v Japan - 16.09
Australia v Scotland - 16.31
Argentina v Russia - 16.53
New Zealand v Kenya - 17.15
United States v Samoa - 17.37
England v Chile - 17.59
Wales v France - 18.21
South Africa v Canada - 18.43
Fiji v Scotland - 19.08
Australia v Japan - 19.30
Argentina v Kenya - 19.52
New Zealand v Russia - 20.14
United States v Chile - 20.36
England v Samoa - 20.58
Wales v Canada - 21.20
South Africa v France - 21.42
Japan v Scotland - 13.28
Australia v Fiji - 13.50
Russia v Kenya - 14.12
New Zealand v Argentina - 14.36
Samoa v Chile - 14.58
England v Unites States - 15.24
France v Canada - 15.46
South Africa v Wales - 16.08
Challenge Trophy playoff - 18.48
Challenge Trophy playoff - 19.10
Challenge Trophy playoff - 19.32
Challenge Trophy playoff - 19.54
Cup Quarterfinal - 20.16
Cup Quarterfinal - 20.38
Cup Quarterfinal - 21.00
Cup Quarterfinal - 21.22
USA Sevens | Women's Fixtures
USA Sevens | Official Website
The HSBC Sevens Series welcomes the new year with the prestigious Wellington Sevens in New Zealand. Wellington used to be a sell-out event for years, but ticket sales have dropped a bit this year. However, the event organisers are confident that the tournament, staged at the impressive Westpac Stadium, won’t disappoint.
With World Series champions Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa all managed by new coaching set-ups, it will be interesting to see how those teams perform under new guidance. Papua New Guinea is the latest addition to the 16-squads tournament. The pacific island nation will replace Uganda, which participated at the first two stages in Dubai and South Africa.
The Wellington Sevens take place at the Westpac Stadium (Capacity 34,500) on Saturday 28thand Sunday 29th of January. The Westpac (also known as the Wellington Regional Stadium) hosted two quarterfinals during the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and is the home of the Super Rugby franchise Hurricanes.
The matches kick-off on Saturday at 11:00 local time (22:00 UK time) and Sunday 11:00 local time (22:00 UK time).
In the UK Sky Sports will cover the tournament on all days. For a full TV-guide click here, for any other country check out this handy guide.
After two rounds it’s currently a tight affair between South Africa and England who both won a tournament each. South Africa, two points ahead of England, only lost one match so far. Disappointingly, the only defeat the Blitzboks conceded was in the final of their home tournament in Cape Town last year. One team which certainly doesn’t want to disappoint anyone this weekend are hosts New Zealand. Under a new coaching setup, the Kiwis are ready to maintain their great home record. In the previous six years, New Zealand won the tournament five times.
So far, England’s Dan Norton has been the outstanding performer. The most tries, most tacklings and the most carries are all stats which the former Bristol-winger are leading. However, with New Zealand, being on home soil, expect the hosts to show off their skills. Tim Mikkelson, now entering his ninth year on the circuit, is still one of the very best and always a pleasure to watch.
England, Kenya, Argentina, Papua New Guinea
South Africa, Fiji, Australia, Japan
New Zealand, USA, France, Samoa
Scotland, Wales, Russia, Canada
Saturday, January 28 (Kick-off is local time)
Wales v Russia, 11.00
Scotland v Canada, 11.23
Fiji v Australia, 11.46
South Africa v Japan, 12.20
Kenya v Argentina, 12.32
England v Papua New Guinea, 12.55
USA v France, 13.19
New Zealand v Samoa, 13.41
Wales v Canada, 14.24
Scotland v Russia, 14.47
Fiji v Japan, 15.33
South Africa v Australia, 15.33
Kenya v Papua New Guinea, 15.56
England v Argentina, 16.19
USA v Samoa, 16.42
New Zealand v France, 17.16
Scotland v Wales, 17.26
Russia v Canada, 18.00
Scotland v Wales, 18.26
South Africa v Fiji, 19.18
Argentina v Papua New Guinea, 19.44
England v Kenya, 20.10
France v Canada, 20.36
New Zealand v USA, 21.13
Page 1 of 2
You have declined cookies. This decision can be reversed.
Change Cookie Consent
You have allowed cookies to be placed on your computer. This decision can be reversed.