With all the action of the autumn rugby union tests across the northern hemisphere taking centre stage last weekend, round two of the HSBC Sevens World Series went rather unnoticed but as usual was packed full of drama and non-stop action to entertain fans of the small-sided game.
The stage for the latest round of action was Dubai, as sixteen nations took to the field for what is undoubtedly one of the highlights on the Sevens World Series. Going into the competition and it was England who were the reigning champions but just like the previous round in Australia, it was the southern hemisphere nations who were dominating the proceedings.
Following in Fiji’s footsteps, Samoa claimed their first trophy but once again it was New Zealand who ended up as beaten finalists. Those fans who were late arriving for the game would have missed the opening Samoa try from Paul Perez with just ten seconds on the clock. The pace continued throughout the game with the Pacific Islanders recording a 26-15 victory and further compounding what was an unusually subdue weekend for New Zealand rugby across all levels.
With Kenya and last years beaten finalists France contesting the Third Place Final, this closely fought match went the way of the Africans 15-12 and thanks in large part to Collins Injera’s sixth try of the tournament. Once again Kenya were proving to be a formidable force, which has seen them rise to joint second in the overall Series rankings.
Elsewhere in the competition and Wales defeated Canada 21-14 to win the Plate Final. James Davies crossed the line twice to secure victory on the same ground they won the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2009. There was plenty of action to report on for all the teams as Argentina went undefeated on day two to lift the Bowl title against South Africa whilst the final silverware went to England as they defeated Spain 26-5 in the Shield Final, ending what was a disappointing Dubai campaign for the defending champions.
With two rounds down, New Zealand sit on top of the rankings although Fiji, Samoa and Kenya are tied for second and providing real competition for the ten times champions. There is no time to ease up the pace though as the action continues this weekend with South Africa playing host to round three and the All Blacks Sevens arriving as reigning champions.
Be sure to join Lovell Rugby for our round-up of all the action and check out our fantastic collection of Sevens rugby shirts.