Dubai Sevens

Tougher than ever! This is the general theme as we head into the opening round of the 2009/10 International Rugby Board Sevens World Series, which gets underway in it’s traditional starting spot of Dubai on Friday.


The 11th version of this global circus will receive a substantial bigger portion of the world sporting spotlight now that the abbreviated version of the game has been accepted into the Olympic Games.

And even though Sevens will only make its appearance at the 2016 games, the world will be following the game a lot closer in the next six years, starting in Dubai – just to see how entertaining and competitive it really can be.

As Paul Treu, coach of the defending champion South African team said, the expectations of what the game should produce will be substantially higher.

“There’s going to be a lot of expectations on the teams, on what people are going to expect in terms of quality,” Trey said, as his team set out to defend not only their IRB Series crown, but also the Dubai title they won last year,

Gordon Tietjens, coach of the eight-time IRB champion New Zealand team, also spoke of the added pressure of being in the Olympic spotlight.

“It’s a massive challenge because there is a lot of added interest and coverage now that Sevens has become an Olympic sport,” Tietjens said.

“I don’t think a lot of people in New Zealand realise the difficulties we face in competing on the World Series now.

“We’ve been at the top, there or thereabouts, winning eight of the 10 World Series titles so far and the expectations are always very high.

“You’ve got to be at your very best to beat these teams and I think that we can do well if we start well and my players really get their act together here.”

While the Olympic theme will cast its own shadow on the event, most of the teams hope to treat it as just another event on the calendar

For the South Africans, one of only two teams other than New Zealand to have been crowned overall champions on the IRB circuit, being the favourites is a new challenge.

“We are in a completely different situation to last year, when people were hoping we would win and now people expect us to win,” new Springbok captain Paul Delport said.

However, he felt that sticking to the structures and systems will get them through.

“We need to go back to what [coach] Paul Treu said, taking it one game at a time and one tournament at a time … that will help a lot.

“We do have miles of experience, players like Neil Powell and Sticky [Mzwandile Stick] who has played 37 tournaments. Those guys know the business and they know what to do.

“I’m convinced the guys will handle the pressure well – it will be different, as we’ve never been World Series champions before, but the guys can handle it and it will give us more drive to perform even better than we did last year.”

Delport admitted that taking the captaincy armband from Sevens veteran Mzwandile Stick will be a “big challenge”.

“However, we’ve got as fantastic leadership group in the team and that’s making it easier for me.

“We also have a strong bond as a team and our unity will carry us through the season.”

The New Zealand coach, Tietjens, also spoke about the need for “experience” to get a team through the demanding eight-tournament series.

“I’ve named four very experienced players in my captain DJ Forbes, vice-captain Zar Lawrence, Tomasi Cama and Lote Raikabula. They are my core this season and we’ll build around them,” he said.

“That’s where we’ve put all of our riches I suppose, and I guess there is a lot of pressure applied to those four players. We are relying on them staying fit this season.

“In saying that, I’ve got a youngster called Sherwin Stowers who’s outstanding and very quick. Save Tokula’s come on leaps and bounds and played last year and a couple more guys like Paul Grant and Ben Souness have been in the squad before and will be so much better this year for their previous experience in Sevens.”

Both South Africa and New Zealand will have to negotiate tricky legs in the pool stages before they can think about tournament victories.

The Springboks, defending champions in Dubai and the second leg in George, on top of defending their IRB crown, face World Cup champions Wales, hosts Arabian Gulf and Australia in their Pool A matches.

Pool B is headed by the effervescent Fijians, along with fellow Pacific Islanders Samoa, Scotland and the ever-improving Zimbabwe.

Pool C will see the always dangerous England face Russia, the unpredictable United States and crowd favourites Kenya – the latter the giant killers of the IRB circuit.

Pool D is headed by New Zealand, with the equally unpredictable Argentina, France and another giant killing act in Portugal.

Pool A:
Arabian Gulf, Australia, South Africa, Wales
Pool B: Fiji, Samoa, Scotland, Zimbabwe
Pool C: England, Russia, United States, Kenya
Pool D: Argentina, France, New Zealand, Portugal

Schedule – Day One:
(Kick-off time is local – GMT + four hours)
Match 1: Fiji v Scotland, 09.20
Match 2: Samoa v Zimbabwe, 09.42
Match 3: England v United States, 10.04
Match 4: Kenya v Russia, 10.26
Match 5: New Zealand v Portugal, 10.48
Match 6: Argentina v France, 11.10
Match 7: South Africa v Wales, 11.32
Match 8: Australia v Arabian Gulf, 11.54
Match 9: Fiji v Zimbabwe, 12.56
Match 10: Samoa v Scotland, 13.18
Match 11: England v Russia, 13.40
Match 12: Kenya v United States, 14.02
Match 13: New Zealand v France, 14.24
Match 14: Argentina v Portugal, 14.46
Match 15: South Africa v Arabian Gulf, 15.08
Match 16: Australia v Wales, 15.30
Match 17: Scotland v Zimbabwe, 16.32
Match 18: United States v Russia, 16.54
Match 19: Portugal v France, 17.16
Match 20: Wales v Arabian Gulf, 17.38
Match 21: Fiji v Samoa, 18.30
Match 22: England v Kenya, 18.52
Match 23: New Zealand v Argentina, 19.14
Match 24: South Africa v Australia, 19.36

Facebook Comments


  1. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Go BlitZboKKe!

  2. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 9:50 am

    A bit rusty but Bokke win nicely against Wales. :respek:

  3. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 9:51 am

    AB looks good again this year

  4. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Reply to Bunny @ 9:51 am:

    HowZit Wortelman

    AB’s wiLL always lOOk gOOd

    And it is to be admired and aPPreciated…

    and to be set as the objective!

  5. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Reply to WiLLem @ 9:53 am: nah, everyone is looking at the boks.

  6. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Reply to WiLLem @ 9:53 am: It is just because of all the Island players in their team just pulling some legs

  7. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 9:59 am


    at least we have the Zimbo’s!


  8. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Reply to WiLLem @ 9:59 am: :wave: Go Beast

  9. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 10:02 am



  10. avatar

    Genl. Joubert

    December 4, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Does anyone know if the Baa Baa game is being televised tomorrow.

  11. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Reply to Genl. Joubert @ 12:23 pm:

    I can confirm with no uncertainty that the game WILL NOT be televised in SA.

  12. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 12:47 pm: :WTF: Phone them and tell them how kak SS is morne

  13. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Reply to Bunny @ 1:18 pm: Maybe they will show it after the whole country come up in arms like they did with the WP vs Griekwas game early this year

  14. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Reply to Bunny @ 1:19 pm:

    Not going to happen, they haven’t bought the rights…

    IN SA they own the rights…

  15. avatar

    Genl. Joubert

    December 4, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Bloody hell. That’s useless.

  16. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 1:20 pm: IDIOTS :realangry: :WTF: :poop: :bangheadt:

  17. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Reply to Bunny @ 1:26 pm: Because all they fooken think about now is poefball

  18. avatar

    Genl. Joubert

    December 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Reply to Bunny @ 1:26 pm: I want a refund on my R500/month.

  19. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Reply to Genl. Joubert @ 1:28 pm: :agree:

  20. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Apparently SuperSport made
    an offer that was refused.

    Cape Town is the place NOT to
    be tonight with all the poefball
    hype and noise going on.

  21. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    BWAHAHAHA – I will be watching live in rugby hot bed Austria :finger:

  22. avatar


    December 4, 2009 at 7:21 pm has something scheduled tomorrow morning at 09h25 (EST).

  23. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Reply to Boertjie @ 1:52 pm:

    ek is verbaas …. het gedink jy sal na elke wedstryd gaan om vir bafana te skreeu.


  24. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 6:28 pm


    have just watched the baabaas game, was really good rugga.

    Habana scored 3 tries, and looked like the Habana of old.

    Matfield ruled the air, du Preez ruled the backline, and the best:


    Baabaas won 25/18.

    Boks were not a moer tired, the played like ysters.

  25. DavidS


    December 5, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Missed it

    But we got knocked over in 1/4 final by Fiji and the Aus beat us in Plate Final in Dubai..


    Kiwis beat Samoa 24-12…

    But then again they have enough money to buy the best of the Samoan loacls to come to NZ and some obscure law from 1981 that allows the PI’s to pour in without needing citizenship changes…

    Convenient huh?

  26. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    I see the boks win the AB again in the Babas game with Habana and Steyn scoring all the points, that is four times this year the boks f..k up the AB so where is all these so called AB supporters and so called running rugby people now

  27. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    On another site the best quote of the season follwing Habanas hat-trick:
    Habana must be loving seeing the ball being passed to him and not chasing it like a dog after a stick

  28. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Reply to Bunny @ 10:03 pm:

    Giteau scored the penalties and conversions. Steyn only the last penalty of the game.

    was a very good game IMO.

  29. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Reply to JT @ 10:06 pm: Still hope people will see AB is not the Alfa and omega of rugby. Boks still rule

  30. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Hope useless SS will show the game tomorrow at least

  31. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Reply to Bunny @ 10:09 pm: AB played against a team that only played together for 5 days.

  32. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    :brownie: :finger: to the AB

  33. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Reply to Bunny @ 10:09 pm:

    def a game to watch – Great to see all those guys who want to bliksim each other the year before play together and enjoing the moment :respek:

  34. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Still think Richie deserve Player of the year?

  35. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:14 pm


  36. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    PS: Burger, Matfield etc. did NOT look tired in this game! Maybe they should drink more guiness before a test match :mrgreen:

  37. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    :finger: for the people who choose the player of the year and the AB, couldn’t beat the boks this year not even with half a bok team

  38. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Reply to JT @ 10:13 pm: You the lucky one for have see the game

  39. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Reply to JT @ 10:14 pm: PS: Burger, Matfield etc. did NOT look tired in this game! Maybe they should drink more guiness before a test match

  40. avatar


    December 5, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Reply to Bunny @ 10:12 pm:
    AB played against a team that only played together for 5 days.
    Jip, but don’t forget is was
    basically the ABs B-team playing.

  41. avatar


    December 6, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Reply to Boertjie @ 10:33 pm: It’s been said to me, that when you wear the springbok jersey, it is the bok’s that lost against the midweek teams,

    So if you put the AB jersey on…….?

    Or does the AB work on a way than the Boks?


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