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SYDNEY 7s 2017Sydney Harbou


HSBC 7s Day 2Sydney 7s Cup Winners South Africa 2017

SOUTH AFRICA claimed their third tournament win of four in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17 after beating England 29-14 in Sydney.

The Blitzboks, competing in their fifth consecutive final on the world series, beat rivals England in what was a repeat of the Cape Town final last December to cement their position at the top of the world series standings. Their three wins from four is the best series start for a side since New Zealand in 2008, who won five tournaments in a row.

HSBC Player of the Final Seabelo Senatla, who now leaves the Blitzboks to join the 15s game, said: "It is incredible. The guys are just magicians, hats off to them, I am just the finisher of the moves. It's bitter sweet, we play here with family so it is a pity to be leaving the family but it’s a new challenge (in Super Rugby) that I'm excited for.”

Sydney 7s Gold South Africa Silver England Bronze New Zealand 2017

Earlier, New Zealand beat Australia to claim bronze while Russia walked away with the Challenge Trophy in Sydney after beating France, 26-0.

Sydney 7s Challenge Trophy Winners Russia 2017

THE FINAL
England dug deep to beat New Zealand in the semi-final and while they showed no lack of heart in the last game of the day, South Africa imposed themselves early and got the tactics right on Sunday evening in Sydney.

Tries from captain Philip Snyman, Senatla and Justin Geduld went unanswered in the first half, while a second from Geduld in the second all but wrapped the game up. England captain Tom Mitchell crossed for a consolation score as did Dan Norton, but in between those, Stephan Dieppenaar put the game out of reach.

Sydney 7s Cup Final South Africa England 2017South Africa head coach Neil Powell said: "I think it was great for the guys to come out and beat England, after losing to them in the pool stages (on day one). Last season we played in four finals and we only won one. So it's special.

"I'm delighted with the back-to-back wins in Wellington and Sydney."

SEMI FINALS
New Zealand's energy levels were undoubtedly sapped after a tough Cup quarter-final against Fiji but they showed no signs of fatigue in the opening semi-final against England, as Regan Ware ran a try in at the corner despite the best efforts of Tom Mitchell and Dan Norton. Ware crossed again minutes later for an almost identical try, but it was ruled out for a forward pass. Dream-team pick Phil Burgess levelled for England before half-time when he showed a clever step to score his third try in Sydney.

Defences were tested and proved impenetrable in the second half until a scintillating break by England's Tom Bowen forced a great tackle from Vilimoni Koroi, but the men in white managed to recycle well and presented the ball for Ollie Lindsay-Hague to crash over for the winner.

The home crowd got behind their Australian side for the second semi-final of the day and despite Kwagga Smith going over for the Blitzboks, Tom Anstee broke away to score and raise the hopes of the energetic crowd in Sydney. Senatla, the current top try scorer in the series with 32, dotted down to make it 12-5 at the break.

Australia battled back but their discipline cost them in the second period; two men in the sin-bin led to tries from Chris Dry and Smith again to send the Blitzboks heading towards a second final in as many weeks, 26-12 the final score. 

QUARTER FINALS
The quarter finals began under the sweltering Sydney morning sun as Argentina came up against the undefeated English, who crossed for the first two tries through captain Mitchell and Burgess before Matias Osadczuk scored on half-time to leave the game 12-7. Second half tries to Alex Davis and Tom Bowen gave England safe passage to the semi-finals with a 24-7 win.

Sydney 7s Quarter Finals 2017

If it was hot before the second quarter-final, New Zealand and Fiji turned up the heat even further when they went head-to-head at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday. They scored two tries apiece in the first half with Iopu Iopu-Aso and Regan Ware touching down for the All Blacks Sevens while Sevuloni Mocenacagi and Kalione Nasoko crossed for the Fijians. Sherwin Stowers gave the Kiwis the lead soon after the break before Nasoko touched down for his second to give Fiji a 21-17 lead. Game most certainly on.

But with the clock in the red, it was Sione Molia who broke the hearts of the large Fijian contingent in attendance, scoring after the siren to give New Zealand a narrow 24-21 victory and set up a clash with the English in the semi-finals.

Series leaders South Africa faced USA in the third quarter-final and fell behind as Carlin Isles crossed to give the Americans an early lead, before tries from Geduld and Chris Dry saw the South Africans ahead at half-time, 14-5. Stephen Tomasin scored next for America to cut the deficit to four points before Senatla touched down for the seventh time this weekend to seal a 21-10 win.

Unbeaten Wales were up next against hosts Australia and with the boisterous home crowd against them, they fell behind as two tries to Henry Hutchison and one to Alex Gibbon saw the locals to a 19-0 lead at half-time. The second half was a closer contest as the Australians only managed one try but their defence completed a shut-out, as they eased to a comprehensive 26-0 win and set up a semi-final clash with South Africa in their home series.

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HSBC 7s Day 1

HOSTS Australia featured in the the Cup quarter-finals of the HSBC Sydney Sevens on Sunday after a thrilling day of action which saw England, Wales and New Zealand all go unbeaten at the Allianz Stadium.

Head coach Andy Friend's Australian outfit face Wales in just their second Cup quarter-final of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17. Wales topped Pool B and ended a 14-match losing streak against Fiji in the process, thanks to an emphatic hat-trick from Welsh wizard Morgan Williams.

England, HSBC Cape Town Sevens winners, took three wins from three in Pool A, with Dan Norton becoming the second highest try scorer of all-time when he surpassed Santiago Gomez-Cora's record of 230 tries. They face Argentina in the Cup quarter-finals on day two of the men's event.

Scott Waldrom's New Zealand side will play Fiji after they managed three victories against Australia, Scotland and Papua New Guinea and USA will play South Africa, the Blitzboks having lost their first Pool match since Hong Kong in April last year.

Meanwhile, Kenya play Russia, Scotland face Samoa, Canada meet Japan and France take on Papua New Guinea in the Challenge Trophy quarter-finals on Sunday.

POOL A
1 England 2South Africa 3 Kenya 4 Japan

England find themselves through to yet another Cup quarter-final after going unbeaten in Sydney, but it was against South Africa in their final Pool match that Simon Amor's side really showed their class. The Blitzboks started off strongly and were 15-7 up with four minutes to go, until Dan Norton went over and finally James Rodwell after a delicate cross kick from Ollie Lindsay-Hague. The conversions from captain Tom Mitchell made it 21-15 at full time. The last team to beat the Blitzboks was England in Cape Town back in December.

Amor's England side looked unsettled at the beginning of the day however against Kenya. Billy Odhiambo and Eden Agero gave the African side a 12-0 lead but it was the familiar faces of Ruaridh McConnochie and Richard de Carpentier, two stars of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens, who managed to claw England back into the match and finish the match 19-12. England's other win of the day came against Japan, who they managed to beat with relative ease, the game finishing 26-0 on full time.

For South Africa, the series leaders and two time tournament champions so far on the 2016-17 series, it was business as usual with wins over Japan (32-0) and a closer call against Kenya, 14-7. Two tries from Seabelo Senatla, on his last appearance on the 2016-17 series, proved crucial against Kenya and the 23-year-old will be missed by head coach Neil Powell for the rest of the series.

POOL B
1 Wales 2 Fiji 3 France 4 Samoa

Wales, who had a disappointing showing in Wellington after only making the Challenge Trophy semi-final, started their day with a win over France, but only just. Ethan Davies scored in the dying seconds and converted it to take the win for Wales 14-12.

The biggest upset of the day though came when Gareth Williams' side played Fiji, Olympic gold medallists and back-to-back series winners. A hat-trick for Morgan Williams took Wales to an emphatic 28-15 victory, their first win over the Pacific islanders since 2013 and in doing so ended a 14-match losing streak against Fiji. The Welsh finished off their day with a draw against Samoa 7-7, and finished as top qualifiers in Pool B.

Despite losing to Wales Fiji were on song on Saturday. A convincing 40-0 win against Samoa, which included six tries, two of which came from lethal finisher Joeli Lutumailagi, showed Gareth Baber's side at their best. Another big win against France, 31-7, again had Fiji going over with five different try scorers to the delight of the packed out stands.

POOL C
1 New Zealand 2 Australia 3 Scottish Rugby 4 Papua New Guinea

New Zealand went unbeaten on day one and kicked off the day with a rematch of last year's Sydney final with New Zealand facing hosts Australia. While the hosts started strong with a penalty try and one from Henry Hutchison, New Zealand scored four and dominated the second half to get the win..

New Zealand then went on to beat PNG convincingly, 31-7, scoring five tries while Scotland struggled against Australia, Sam Myers getting a brace and Tim Anstee getting a hat-trick as they won 43-13.

Australia ran out easy winners over PNG and New Zealand wrapped up an impressive day with a 14-7 win over Scotland; Scott Curry and Tim Mikkelson ensuring the win for the All Black Sevens.

POOL D
1 USA 2 Argentina 3 Canada 4 Russia

While USA finished up topping Pool D after three matches, their opening match against Argentina was close affair. Thanks to the power of Danny Barrett, who scored a brace of tries, Mike Friday's outfit were able to win 22-19 and begin their Sydney campaign with a bang.

The North American side went on to beat rivals Canada 31-19, in their second match of the day, a game that looked too close to call at half-time as the sides were all level at 19-19. Second half tries from captain Madison Hughes, Andrew Durutalo and Don Pati kept Canada at bay and secured the win. However in their final match against Russia, USA failed to beat their opponents for the first time since Glasgow 2012, losing out 14-17 in Sydney.

Santiago Gomez Cora's Argentina side, despite losing out to USA, managed to take a close win against Russia 19-14 and scraped through against Canada with a 17-17 draw being enough to give them the required points to go through. Canada's Pat Kay scored a try in the dying second but failed to convert.

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HSBC 7s Results

SATURDAY 4th FEBRUARY 2017

1

09:30

ARGENTINA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/ARG.png

19-22

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/USA.png

USA

POOL D

2

09:52

CANADA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/CAN.png

12-7

Flag Russia.png

RUSSIA

POOL D

3

10:14

FRANCE

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FRA.png

12-14

Flag Wales.png

WALES

POOL B

4

10:36

FIJI

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FIJ.png

24-0

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/SAM.png

SAMOA

POOL B

5

10:58

ENGLAND

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19-12

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/KEN.png

KENYA

POOL A

6

11:20

SOUTH AFRICA

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32-0

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/JPN.png

JAPAN

POOL A

7

11:42

NEW ZEALAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/NZL.png

26-14

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/AUS.png

AUSTRALIA

POOL C

8

12:04

SCOTLAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/SCO.png

26-12

Papua New Guinea sq.png

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

POOL C

9

12:36

ARGENTINA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/ARG.png

19-14

Flag Russia.png

RUSSIA

POOL D

10

12:58

CANADA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/CAN.png

19-31

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/USA.png

USA

POOL D

11

13:20

FRANCE

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FRA.png

17-14

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/SAM.png

SAMOA

POOL B

12

13:42

FIJI

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FIJ.png

15-28

Flag Wales.png

WALES

POOL B

13

14:53

ENGLAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/ENG.png

26-0

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/JPN.png

JAPAN

POOL A

14

15:15

SOUTH AFRICA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/RSA.png

14-7

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/KEN.png

KENYA

POOL A

15

15:37

NEW ZEALAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/NZL.png

31-7

Papua New Guinea sq.png

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

POOL C

16

15:59

SCOTLAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/SCO.png

14-43

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/AUS.png

AUSTRALIA

POOL C

17

18:23

USA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/USA.png

14-17

Flag Russia.png

RUSSIA

POOL D

18

18:45

CANADA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/CAN.png

17-17

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/ARG.png

ARGENTINA

POOL D

19

19:07

WALES

Flag Wales.png

7-7

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/SAM.png

SAMOA

POOL B

20

19:29

FIJI

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FIJ.png

31-7

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FRA.png

FRANCE

POOL B

21

19:51

KENYA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/KEN.png

17-12

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/JPN.png

JAPAN

POOL A

22

20:13

SOUTH AFRICA

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15-21

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/ENG.png

ENGLAND

POOL A

23

20:35

AUSTRALIA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/AUS.png

26-7

Papua New Guinea sq.png

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

POOL C

24

20:57

SCOTLAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/SCO.png

7-14

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/NZL.png

NEW ZEALAND

POOL C

SUNDAY 4th FEBRUARY 2017

25

10:30

KENYA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/KEN.png

0-22

Flag Russia.png

RUSSIA

CT QF

26

10:52

SCOTLAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/SCO.png

14-21

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/SAM.png

SAMOA

CT QF

27

11:14

CANADA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/CAN.png

7-19

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/JPN.png

JAPAN

CT QF

28

11:36

FRANCE

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FRA.png

17-0

Papua New Guinea sq.png

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

CT QF

29

11:58

ENGLAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/ENG.png

24-7

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/ARG.png

ARGENTINA

CUP QF

30

12:20

NEW ZEALAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/NZL.png

24-21

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FIJ.png

FIJI

CUP QF

31

12:42

USA

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10-21

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/RSA.png

SOUTH AFRICA

CUP QF

32

13:04

WALES

Flag Wales.png

0-26

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/AUS.png

AUSTRALIA

CUP QF

33

13:41

KENYA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/KEN.png

19-14

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/SCO.png

SCOTLAND

13th PL SF

34

14:03

CANADA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/CAN.png

33-20

Papua New Guinea sq.png

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

13th PL SF

35

14:25

RUSSIA

Flag Russia.png

17-12

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/SAM.png

SAMOA

CT SF

36

14:47

JAPAN

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/JPN.png

12-19

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FRA.png

FRANCE

CT SF

37

15:09

ARGENTINA

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21-38

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FIJ.png

FIJI

5th PL SF

38

15:31

USA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/USA.png

19-10

Flag Wales.png

WALES

5th PL SF

39

15:53

ENGLAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/ENG.png

12-5

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/NZL.png

NEW ZEALAND

CUP SF

40

16:15

SOUTH AFRICA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/RSA.png

26-12

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/AUS.png

AUSTRALIA

CUP SF

41

16:57

KENYA

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/KEN.png

5-10

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/CAN.png

CANADA

13th PL PO

42

17:24

RUSSIA

Flag Russia.png

26-0

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FRA.png

FRANCE

CT FINAL

43

17:57

FIJI

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/FIJ.png

35-12

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/USA.png

USA

5th PL PO

44

18:24

Rio 2016 Bronze MedalNEW ZEALAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/NZL.png

29-14

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/AUS.png

AUSTRALIA

BRONZE

45

18:51

Rio 2016 Silver MedalENGLAND

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/ENG.png

14-29

http://www.irbsevens.com/imgml/flags/24/RSA.png

SOUTH AFRICARio 2016 Gold Medal

CUP FINAL

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HSBC 7s Pools


POOL A

EnglandJapanKenyasa

POOL B

fijifranceSamoaWales

POOL C

australianzPapua New GuineaScottish Rugby

POOL D

ArgentinaCanadaRussiaUSA

World Rugby announced the pools for the fourth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Sydney.

Sydney 7s 2016The draw for the next stop on the series was made at the end of the HSBC Wellington Sevens, which was won by South Africa who beat Fiji, 26-5 at the Westpac Stadium.

The Blitzboks are drawn in Pool A with England, Kenya and Japan.

Olympic and Sevens Series champions Fiji top Pool B with France, Wales and Samoa.

After an impressive performance in the second round, where they finished with bronze, Scotland will play hosts Australia, New Zealand and invitational team Papua New Guinea.

Canada, who impressed in Wellington, top Pool D and play Argentina, USA and Russia at the Allianz Stadium next weekend.

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HSBC 7s Intro

SYDNEY is the fourth Australian city to host a leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series when the carnival heads back to these shores on the weekend of 4/5 February 2017.

Sydney 7s Captains 2017

YOU can't win them all. Despite teams arriving into Sydney with the summer sun beating down on them, as soon as the captains assembled under the iconic Harbour Bridge in the city, the clouds covered over and the rain started to fall. But hey, that's the way it goes.

One team that has won it all, however, is the Australian women's team, represented by co-captain Sharni Williams at the media event on Wednesday.

After the highs of winning gold at the Olympic Games last year and claiming the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series for the first time, she is thrilled to be able to represent her country on home soil for the first time.

"I actually think it's awesome that we haven't had to travel so far, so no jetlag," joked Williams.

"We've actually spoken in the team and this is probably as big as the gold medal match (at the Olympic Games). We didn't feel the pressure over there whereas you're representing your country in your country this weekend. Women's sport is just growing and growing and we want to be the role models for those girls. To do that on home soil is a lifetime dream."

Williams and her side have New Zealand in their crosshairs after the Black Ferns Sevens upset the form book to beat them at the last round of the women's series in Dubai in December.

"Everyone talks about 'revenge' but they also had revenge after the gold medal match at the Olympics," said Williams. "The game is changing. There were a lot of new names in Dubai. We go to Sydney and it's going to be game on, no matter who we play."

It's the first time Sydney will host the men's and women's combined event and excitement is at fever pitch in the city. For Canadian captains Harry Jones and Ghislaine Landry, it's an opportunity they want to seize with both hands.

"Consistency is obviously the biggest focus coming off the back of Wellington," said Jones. "We left a few things out on the pitch last weekend but we have to attack this weekend with confidence."

On the women's side, Landry knows the Canadian women need to improve.

"We weren't happy with our performance in Dubai. We knew that was going to be a tough tournament and we took some time off after the Olympics, so we weren't in the best shape.

"We looked at the (analysis) video and there were a few things we worked on, especially in defence, and we've put in a lot of hard yards over the last few months."

Another team that wants to build on their last outing is Scotland's men, who claimed bronze in Wellington last weekend. Captain Scott Riddell said: "We're feeling good and just re-charging the batteries for this weekend.

"We have hosts Australia as well as New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in our pool, but to be honest, we're just focusing on ourselves and what we can control. It's going to be a massive stadium and a massive event so we're really looking forward to it."

Fiji, Japan, Samoa, France and South Africa all made changes to their squads ahead of the fourth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Sydney.

The action gets underway on Saturday with South Africa topping the standings after the last round in Wellington, New Zealand.

HSBC 7s Squads

Canada and Scotland also hope to build on impressive performances in Wellington while Fiji, who lost to South Africa in the final in Wellington, are still searching for their first tournament win this season.

Captain Osea Kolinisau says his side have recovered well since last weekend: "There's a lot of energy in the team and a lot of laughter around the camp. We're really looking forward to this weekend." 

Meanwhile New Zealand will give debuts to Trael Joass and Andrew Knewstubb in Sydney this weekend. Isaac Te Tamaki and Tone Ng Shiu will be the travelling reserves, with the rest of the team unchanged from the Wellington tournament last week.

Head  Coach Scott Waldrom said:  “We learned a lot from Wellington and continue to work on what's required to win in what has become a very tough World Series. Last weekends Fiji quarter-final showed us that if you make a few mistakes you will be punished by the opposition and we can't afford that this weekend with another tough pool.

“Playing Australia first up in front of their home crowd is going to be a big challenge for the team."

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HSBC 7s StandingsHSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Standings 2016HSBC 7s ScheduleHSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016

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