South Africa Sevens Impressive Form Continues

The South Africa Sevens side have continued their impressive form this HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with victory in Sydney. A third tournament win so far in the 2016/17 calendar for the Blitzbok. Successful tournaments in Dubai, Wellington and now Sydney have propelled them to the fore front of the Men’s game.

The ever improving South African side must now be viewed as real contenders with the stalwarts of the Seven-man game; Fiji and New Zealand.

Sweet Revenge in the Final

Pool A opposition England stood in the way of a South Africa Sevens victory in the final of the Sydney 7’s. The English had been the only blemish on the South African record so far in the tournament, as they beat the Blitzbok 21-15 in the Pool stages.

Despite that South Africa were undeterred and dominated the final throughout. With a 19-0 half time lead, the South Africans were coasting to victory and ultimately ended the game 29-14 victors.

Party Atmosphere Tainted with the Reality of Vegas

Whilst the South Africans will look back on the opening four tournaments of this years World Series with great pride. It is to the future that they must now focus on. Most notably a future without the current ‘World Sevens Player of the Year’ Seabelo Senatla. The man who in Wellington became his countries highest try-scorer from the Sevens Series will depart for the XV man code. Sevens rugby’s loss, is the gain of the Stormers and potentially the Springboks.

With the Las Vegas round up next, the South African Sevens squad will not what to be looking back and missing Senatla. They will have to regroup and refocus, to continue this amazing form on the World Sevens Series. Expect any number of players to put their hands up, but none can entirely replace Senatla.

Salvation in Second Place

Whilst England will be disappointed with the way that South Africa dispatched them so easily in the Final, the vast improvement from the Wellington round with have pleased players, coaches and fans alike. Their performances throughout the Sydney 7’s suggests that the quarter final loss to Scotland last week was just a blip.

They are still currently second on the HSBC Sevens Series standings, behind South Africa.

Home Town Joy for Young Aussie Squad

The Australian Men’s sevens squad have the unenviable task of trying to emulate their nations Olympic ‘golden girls’. The men have struggled to reach the heights of the Women’s team, but in Sydney they showed glimpses of what the future may hold.

A squad depleted by injuries from Wellington harnessed the ‘home town support’ and only succumbed to eventual winners South Africa, in the Cup semi finals. A fourth place finish [after defeat to New Zealand] was realistically ‘more than they could have possibly imagined’ as they blooded new, young players into the squad. A big result, and it can only be good for the squads future.

Big Guns Faltering

Between them they are the poster boys of Sevens rugby, but New Zealand and Fiji are struggling to make their mark on this years Series. They have each yet to win a tournament so far, which for them is unheard of. As is often the case, however, beware the wounded giants.

With six rounds of the Series remaining, don’t be surprised if they make a resurgent drive for the overall title. Fiji and New Zealand sit 3rd and 4th respectively in the standings, and due to their uncanny ability to ‘comeback’ both are far from out of the race to catch the leading South African Sevens side.

A remarkable Sydney 7’s has drawn to a close, with South Africa crowned Champions in the Men’s tournament and Canada in the Women’s event. After the disappointment of empty seats in Wellington, Sydney showed that Australia has a passion for rugby. Well, at least for the Sevens.

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The next round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is Las Vegas, March 3-5.

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