If you haven’t already been converted to the fast-paced and action-packed Sevens game then now is the ideal time, as not only has the new season just kicked-off but come the 2016 Olympics in Rio it will also be making its debut.
The 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series began in emphatic style last weekend as Australia’s Gold Coast played host to the opening round. Defending champions New Zealand are bidding for their 12th title although the likes of Fiji and South Africa will certainly be amongst the challengers to their crown, with other contenders including England and Australia.
For the opening round the smart money was on New Zealand to open their account with a tournament title but Fiji had other ideas. The top two from last season met in the Cup Final, with Fiji recording a resounding 32-14 victory and in the process defended their Australia title. With both nations sporting a number of new players, the high standard has been clearly laid down which will make for an enthralling tournament over the coming season.
The Two beaten semi-finalists, South Africa and Kenya contested the Third Place match with the Springboks running out emphatic winners 41-7. Having topped their Pool, which included New Zealand, South Africa took their frustrations out on Kenya by crossing their line seven times with Kenya responding with just the one try.
Rounding up the main positions and contesting the most closely fought final was France and Argentina. A game of two halves saw Argentina take the initiative in the first whilst France applied the pressure in the second, ending up in a 14-7 victory for Los Pumas. Elsewhere in the tournament, Spain exacted revenge for a Pool defeat by beating England 19-14 in the Bowl Final whilst in the Shield Final Scotland thrashed the USA 40-5.
Next stop on the Sevens World Series is Dubai, 30th November – 1st December, where England will be looking to retain their 2011 title. Join Lovell Rugby for our round-up of all the action and check out our wide range of Sevens clothing.
Although it’s early stages yet, who are your tips to claim the Sevens crown and can any team stop New Zealand in their quest for title number 12?