The Dubai Sevens 2018 are done and dusted. For New Zealand's Sevens sides it was the perfect weekend as both, the men's and women's, start the new season in a winning fashion. But there is much more we can take away from the last few days. Here are five things that stood out.
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Pic: World Rugby
A packed BC Place Stadium in Vancouver helped hosts Canada to secure a place in the Cup quarter-final following two pool-stage wins against Scotland and Russia on Saturday. Only New Zealand could stop Damian MacGrath’s in a close encounter (14-15) and as a result, Canada will face series leaders South Africa today. New Zealand ended the day without a loss and will face England on day two.
The 40,000 enthusiastic fans witnessed an entertaining day of 7s not just by the home team but also by neighbours USA, who swiped through the first tournament with a clean sheet. Mike Friday’s team seem to carry over the strong performance from Las Vegas where they finished 3rd. After wins against Japan, France and Australia, the team will be challenged by Argentina in the Cup quarters.
Following an opening victory against Samoa, Argentina lost to Wales but managed to land a historic 26-24 win against Olympic champions Fiji. However, with wins over Wales and Samoa, Fiji still managed to stay in the top-end of the tournament as they will go head-to-head with Australia on day two.
Top-favourites South Africa continued their winning run with a solid start against Chile and a 15-5 win against Kenya. In the pool decider against England, both teams worked hard to get away with three points however the match resulted in a 12-12 draw, enough for South Africa to take the top spot in Pool A.
South Africa v Canada
USA v Argentina
New Zealand v England
Fiji v Australia
Kenya v Scotland
France v Samoa
Russia v Chile
Wales v Japan
Canada Sevens | Results Day 1
Canada Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
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
New Zealand took their first tournament win of 2017 after beating Argentina 38-14 in Cape Town to go top of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings.
The All Blacks Sevens made up for their Cup final loss in Dubai last weekend with a clinical display in front of a sold-out Cape Town Stadium. Two tries from HSBC Player of the Final Joe Ravouvou combined with scores from Vilimoni Koroi, Tim Mikkelson, Regan Ware and Sione Molia to help head coach Clark Laidlaw's side to victory over an Argentina side chasing their first Cup win since San Diego in 2009."I'm so proud of how the boys played this weekend and last weekend," said captain Scott Curry. "It could have gone either way after we lost our first pool match against USA yesterday but day two is another day. We started fresh and really worked for each other and that’s what won it for us. We’ll look forward to our home tournament in Hamilton coming up soon – it’s a new city and they really love their rugby there."Hosts South Africa were knocked out 19-12 in the Cup semi-final by New Zealand yet finished strongly in third after beating Canada 19-17 in the bronze final. New Zealand are now two points clear of South Africa in the overall HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2018 standings with eight stops remaining. The teams will regroup in Sydney on 26-28 January.
South Africa went into this match as favourites having beaten New Zealand in the final in Dubai but the All Blacks Sevens had other plans. Blitzboks captain Philip Snyman scored early on after handing off the New Zealand defence on the right wing. Joe Ravouvou received a yellow card in the process for a late tackle, putting New Zealand down to six men. However, shortly after Tim Mikkelson found himself going under the posts after the South Africa defence was found napping. Cecil Afrika scrambled over the line for the hosts before half-time to make it 12-7 at the break.
In the second half New Zealand star Vilimoni Koroi got his side right back into it with a brilliant 75m break to score, with Afrika not even being able to catch him. Ravouvou made up for his earlier mistake by making a powerful run down the right wing and looked set to score before Rosko Specman came in with a strong tackle. With the ball loose Joe Webber got his hands on it and put New Zealand ahead 19-12.
The Blitzboks had one more chance to take the win but Tim Agaba knocked on after a flat pass came too hot to handle.
A star on day two, Connor Braid started Canada off with a great break before offloading to Pat Kay for the first score of the match. Marcos Moroni got Argentina back into the game after pulling in three defenders before offloading to Santiago Alvarez for the try.
Braid was at it once again, picking up the ball in the Argentina half, then making a huge arcing run to split the defence and score. Canada looked in control at this stage, but the tables turned quickly when Rodrigo Etchart showed a clean pair of heels to score. The conversion, from Lautaro Bazan Velez, proved to be absolutely crucial.
South Africa were under pressure from the outset at their home tournament after Fiji went 0-14 up within two minutes. A yellow card for Seabelo Senatla for a high tackle left them down to six men as Fiji capitalised on every mistake made by the Blitzboks. Werner Kok settled nerves after scoring a nice solo effort down the left wing, but immediately Fiji were back in the game as Josua Vakurunabili handed off Senatla on the right wing and helped Fiji to a 21-5 lead. South Africa then scored one of the tries of the tournament as Kwagga Smith, Tim Agaba and Justin Geduld linked up to run the length of the pitch. 12-21 to Fiji at half-time.
In the second half, Cecil Afrika unleashed a huge 30m pass to Senatla who ran in a try to make it 17-21 after the kick was missed by by Afrika. Kalione Nasoko dampened Blitzboks' hopes once more though, breaking through the line and running half the pitch to go under the posts, making it 17-26. Smith once again showed his true class, slicing down the right wing and dotting down under the sticks. With the kick good, just two points separated the sides. A Fiji attack was stunted on the right wing and the ball eventually ripped out, which was scooped up by Senatla to score his second and secure a thrilling win.
A loose NFL style pass from Sam Dickson gave England an early scrum five metres out after the ball eventually went dead behing New Zealand's posts. The ball made its way to Ruaridh McConnochie who went over from close range and gave England the lead. The All Blacks Sevens went straight back deep into England's half with some beautiful interlinking play, scoring eventually through Andrew Knewstubb.
England led 7-5 at half-time, and extended their lead through McConnochie once more in the second half. New Zealand attacked down the right wing, with Joe Ravouvou and Dylan Collier linking up, Collier going over for the score. At 12-10, a yellow card for Tom Mitchell for a high tackle opened up the space, and the All Blacks Sevens exploited this with Ravouvou finishing off in the left corner.
Connor Braid gave Canada the perfect start as he sped down the right wing, offloading to Pat Kay who turned and popped the ball to Mike Fuailefau to score. Nate Hirayama, in his 55th tournament, jinked and stepped through three French defenders to score and converted to make it 14-0. Justin Douglas, lethal on day one of the tournament, went into top gear down the left wing to add to the score and make it 21-0 at half-time.
Braid kicked things off in the second half with a try straight from the restart and then Matt Mullins added a score of his own to make it 35-0. France's only try came from Johan Demai-Hamecher late in the game as Damian McGrath's team took a convincing win.
Franco Sabato and Lautaro Bazan Velez both scored within the first three minutes to pile the pressure on Mike Friday's USA side, who went unbeaten on day one of the tournament. At 14-0 going into the second half, Santiago Gomez Cora's Argentina outfit turned up the skill level once more as Conrado Roura added another try. A long range run from Stephen Tomasin and score from Folau Niua made it 21-12 with seconds to go, but Argentina closed out the game thanks to Luciano Gonzalez.
Cape Town Sevens 2017 | Results
World Sevens Series | Standings
Hosts South Africa, Fiji, New Zealand and Scotland stayed unbeaten to top their respective pools at the end of day one at the second round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Cape Town.
The Cup quarter-finals sees defending champions South Africa take on Wales, Scotland come face to face with the USA, Fiji meet England and the All Blacks will play Kenya.
After last week’s Dubai Sevens, the Blitzboks will be looking to defend their HSBC Cape Town Sevens title on day two and increase their lead at the top of the series standings after the opening two rounds.
History was made today when speedster Dan Norton became England's top scorer and powerhouse James Rodwell the countries most capped player.
First Rodwell became the most-capped England sevens player with a 71st tournament appearance before Norton scored his 220th, 221st and 22nd tries to become the all-time leading try scorer for England.
Taking over from Ben Gollings (220), Norton also moved into third on the all-time list behind Collins Injera (235) and Santiago Gomez Cora (230). England opened with a 33-10 win over Canada before Norton scored a brace in their 19-14 win over Argentina.
After a disappointing start to the new season in Dubai, New Zealand looked an improved side today, beating Argentina 26-12 before Canada came from 14-0 behind to draw 19-19 against the All Blacks Sevens. However, a 33-7 win against England in the final pool match secured the top position for New Zealand after day one.
Tomorrow the Cape Town Sevens continue at 10:36am local time.
12:04 | South Africa v Wales
12:26 | New Zealand v Kenya
12:48 | Scotland v USA
13:10 | Fiji v England
Cape Town Sevens | Results Day 1
Cape Town Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
England won their first Cup title since Tokyo 2015 with a 19-17 win over hosts South Africa. At the Cape Town Sevens, Simon Amor’s team just secured the win despite a last minute try by Werner Kok and a yellow card for record breaker Dan Norton. However, a missed conversion by Justin Geduld ensured the victory on late Sunday afternoon.
England captain Tom Mitchell said: “It was a tough tournament, to back up last weekend in Dubai, but I am so proud of the boys. We trained all summer and this makes it all worth it. We were a bit disappointed last weekend and we wanted to put it right. It’s been a bumpy road, but it always is. It was a pleasure to play in this stadium.”
In a gripping final, Blitzbok Chris Dry scored the first try of the match before Richard de Carpentier hit back immediately to give England a 7-5 lead. Dan Norton added another try to make the scores 12-5 at half-time.
In the second half Rosko Specman, scored again for South Africa, but HSBC player of the final Ruaridh McConochie gave England another lead.
Norton’s yellow card allowed South Africa once more to find a gap in the defence but the missed conversion gave England the win.
England close the gap on series leaders South Africa, finishing the first two rounds on 39, two behind South Africa but ahead of Fiji (32), Scotland and New Zealand (both 27).
Earlier in the semi-finals England beat Scotland 33-14, while South Africa overcame New Zealand 14-7. The All Blacks Sevens finished the day with a 24-19 win against Scotland in the Bronze final.
The next round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series takes place in Wellington, New Zealand on 28 and 29 January, 2017.
Cape Town Sevens | Results Day 2
Wellington Sevens | Draws and Schedule
Australia beat South Africa 29-0 in the Cup final to take the HSBC Sydney Sevens title.
The victory secured a clean sweep for the host nation after Australia’s women beat New Zealand in their Cup final earlier on in the day.
It marked the men’s first Cup win since Japan in 2012 and Andy Friend’s side put on a clinical display on day three in front of an enraptured home crowd at the Allianz Stadium.
A brace from Ben O’Donnell combined with scores from Lewis Holland, James Stannard and John Porch.
Lachlan Anderson, an emerging talent within the team, was voted HSBC Player of the Final and was naturally delighted with the result after the full-time whistle.
“It is still hard to take it in and it is pretty special, but we have been talking about this for a long time," he said. “We started the work last July and drew a line in the sand as we hadn’t won for a while. We put the pieces in place and it is great that we got the reward this weekend
South Africa now lead the overall HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2018 standings and Australia move up to third with seven stops remaining. The teams move swiftly on and will reconvene in Hamilton on 3-4 February.
Argentina was knocked out in the Cup semi-final by the eventual winners yet finished strongly in third after beating the USA 31-10 in the Bronze Final.
France won the Challenge Trophy Final. After a victory over Spain and Russia, they beat Wales 29-12 in their final.
Australia beat New Zealand 31-0 in the Cup final to take the HSBC Sydney Sevens title on home soil.
Tim Walsh’s side went through the tournament without conceding a try, a first in the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, and produced a clinical display in the Trans-Tasman Cup Final.
A try from HSBC Player of the Final Charlotte Caslick combined with scores from Shannon Parry, Ellia Green, Evania Pelite and Emma Sykes to secure a memorable victory on home soil.
After the full-time whistle the World Rugby Women's Sevens Player of the Year 2016, Caslick, was naturally delighted with the winner's performance over the course of the three days.
“It was a fantastic way to finish the tournament here in Sydney in front of our home crowd especially as New Zealand are so tough to beat," she said. "Our coach Tim Walsh wanted a better defensive effort in this tournament as it was not up to par last year, so we have worked really hard on it and we finished without conceding a try which is awesome.”
In the Bronze Final Canada also delivered a clinical showing to take a 40-12 victory over Russia. France secured fifth position, Ireland finished in seventh and on day two England won the Challenge Trophy Final.
After back-to-back tournament wins in Dubai and Sydney Australia are now ten points clear of New Zealand, Canada and Russia in the overall HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2018 standings. There are three stops remaining and the teams will regroup next in Kitakyushu on 21-22 April.
Sydney Sevens | Men's | Results Day 3
Sydney Sevens | Women's | Results Day 3
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
South Africa successfully defended their Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens title after beating New Zealand 24-12 in the opening round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2018.
The reigning world series champions unleashed all their attacking firepower in what was a breathtaking display of sevens rugby across the two days. With his most experienced side ever, head coach Neil Powell notched up his fifth tournament win of 2017 and continued South Africa's dominance on the global stage.
First-half tries from Rosko Specman, former World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Seabelo Senatla and HSBC Player of the Final Kwagga Smith put the Blitzboks 19-0 up against New Zealand, who were chasing their first tournament win since Vancouver in 2016. Scott Curry and Andrew Knewstubb got the All Blacks Sevens back into the match, but at 19-12 it was the powerful Tim Agaba who closed the game out.
"It was a great performance from the guys," said Senatla, who scored seven tries in Dubai, "It's been a while since we all played together but it's so great to win again in Dubai."
England pipped Fiji 28-21 to win the Bronze final, while France beat Spain 21-12 to win the Challenge Trophy. The next round of the series takes place in Cape Town on 9-10 December, where England will be looking to retain their crown.
Dubai Rugby Sevens 2017 | Results
In the opening round of the HSBC World Sevens Series, South Africa beat Fiji to win the first tournament of the season. At the prestigious Dubai Sevens, South Africa secured the Cup with a 26-14 win in the final.
Tries from Cecil Afrika and Branco du Preez gave the Blitzbokke an early lead, however Fijian captain Osea Kolinisau fired back to make it 14-7 at half-time.
In the second half Jerry Tuwai scored another try to level the score for Fiji, but shortly afterwards Chris Dry and Seabelo Senatla sealed the deal with a try each.
In the bronze final, speedster Dan Norton scored a remarkable four tries against Wales, resulting in a 33-10 win.
Australia finished the day in fifth place while USA won the Challenge Trophy with a 28-14 win over Samoa.
The next round of the HSBC World Sevens Series will be staged next weekend (10.12.-11.12.) in Cape Town.
CUP FINAL | Fiji 14-26 South Africa
BRONZE FINAL | England 38-10 Wales
CHALLENGE TROPHY | SAMOA 14-28 USA
All Dubai Sevens results
Source: World Rugby
Fiji beat South Africa 22-0 at the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and claimed their first tournament victory of the season.
The Olympic Champions, unbeaten all weekend, scored four tries in the final as a weekend of pulsating rugby came to a thrilling end on Sunday. The result means Fiji jump to second place in the rankings ahead of England while the Blitzboks remain on top with three tournaments left this season.
Fijian coach Gareth Baber admitted his team were happy to finally get a tournament win under their belts: "With the quality of players we have here I'm very aware that we should be winning Cups. I'm also aware that Ben (Ryan - fomer coach) did a great job and that we needed to keep the pressure on South Africa at the top of the table. I knew they could do it - it was just a matter of time before we could get it done."
Meanwhile, Spain secured their spot on next season's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series after beating Germany 12-7 in the World Rugby series qualifier final at the Hong Kong stadium. Scotland won the Challenge Trophy while Australia claimed bronze after beating USA.
The series moves to Singapore for the eighth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series next weekend, 15-16 April.
Hong Kong Sevens | Results Day 3
Text, Picture and Video: World Rugby
France and South Africa had never previously met in a Cup final and Pierre Gilles Lakafia’s early try forced South Africa to come from behind but they stood up impressively, putting three converted tries on France before conceding again.
Hosts Australia have made the quarter-finals for the last 15 home events but needed to beat South Africa by five points to guarantee qualification for the knockout stages.
(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
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
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
South Africa took a huge step towards their second series win after beating Fiji 19-12 in the final of the USA Sevens yesterday.
The Blitzboks have now a comfortable 24-point buffer at the top of the standings, with Fiji in second and England in third following their fifth place finish in Vegas.
In an intense final, Olympic champions Fiji tried everything to win their first title this season. Masivesi Dakuwaqa scored early on in the match, but South Africa’s playmaker Cecil Afrika replied with try just moments after. Forward Chris Dry added another try early on in the second half, before HSBC Player of the Final Rosko Specman scored an incredible individual try to win the game. Waisea Nacuqu got Fiji back into the game, but it was just too little too late.
With victories in Dubai, Sydney, Wellington and now Las Vegas, the Blitzboks have had their best start ever to a world series.
"We're happy with how it's been going the last few tournaments and the guys are believing in a system and working for each other," he said. "They are showing a lot of pride in the jersey and the fact that they can play for their country. They showed a lot of composure in the final and managed to take control back in the second half."
Hosts USA finished in a strong third position after beating New Zealand 19-15 in the Bronze final, while Kenya took victory in the Challenge Trophy final, beating Samoa 21-14.
The teams have now just a few days to recover before the next stage of the HSBC Sevens Series in Vancouver kicks-off.
USA Sevens | Results
Canada Sevens | Fixtures
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
South Africa defended their pole position after the third round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with a 26-5 win over Olympic Gold medallists Fiji.
For the second time this weekend, the Blitzboks beat the Fijians at the Westpac Stadium. A day before South Africa went head-to-head with Fiji in the pool stages.
Above all it was South African Seabelo Senatla were the outstanding performer in Wellington, claiming the HSBC Player of the Final, DHL Impact Player, and his team’s top try scorer with 180 series tries.
Scotland, who beat rivals England in the quarter-finals, finished in third place after beating Canada 28-22 in the bronze final, while Kenya won the Challenge Trophy after beating Australia 19-17 in windy conditions.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series continues in Sydney next week where it joins up with the women's tournament for the fourth round of the season.
Wellington Sevens | Results Day 2
Sydney Sevens | Pools and Fixtures
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.
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