HSBC Sevens 2017-18

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Blitzbokke in Vegas semi’s

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Rugby Sevens World series leaders South Africa moved into the Las Vegas Sevens semi-finals on Saturday after beating Australia 29-17.

Playing at the packed 40,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium, the South Africans advanced to Sunday’s semi-final with a strong second-half showing after the game was tied 12-all at half time.

The South Africans will face Argentina in the last four after they defeated Kenya 17-12.

Hosts USA also secured a semi-final spot with a 17-12 victory over England, the unbeaten US side won thanks to three tries from speed merchant Perry Baker.

In the other quarter-final, Jerry Tuwai scored the winning try almost two minutes after the final siren as Olympic champions Fiji pipped New Zealand 14-10.

South Africa lead the series with 77 points after four rounds, with New Zealand (69), Fiji (62) and Australia (60) making up the top four. The Americans are in seventh place on 36 points.

Blitzbokke struggle pass Wales and Canada on Day 1

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The Blitzbokke, who are missing so quality players who are playing Super Rugby now had to work very hard for their two wins on Day 1 of the Las Vegas Sevens.

They also had to overcome some injuries as well but is still on track to defend their Vegas title this year.

It was a scary victory up first against Wales who pushed them all the way to the 26-21 win.

They also beat Canada 19-12 in their second game and will now face England in their final group match on Sunday morning.

Get all the updates with fixtures and results right here

 

 

Preview Las Vegas Sevens

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Teams playing in the fifth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series have been welcomed by thousands of fans in the entertainment capital.

The 16 competing nations at the HSBC USA Sevens were given a truly Las Vegas welcome this evening as tens of thousands of fans showed their support for the teams ahead of a bumper weekend of rugby.

Held in the historic part of Las Vegas along Fremont Street, the hour-long ‘Parade of Nations’ gave both passionate and new fans a chance to get close to the stars of the sevens. The events celebration of rugby, its values and culture, and the city of Las Vegas provided the perfect tournament opener with the competing teams walking the celebratory red carpet through the crowd, before taking to the stage to thank fans and look ahead to the USA Sevens.

Las Vegas is set to host crowds of over 50,000 at the Sam Boyd Stadium between the 2-4 March where the teams will be looking to secure valuable points which will help them climb the series table and improve their Rugby World Cup Sevens seedings ahead of San Francisco in July.

The tournament has been swept up by both South Africa and Fiji in recent years winning the last five between them, so teams will be looking to end their usual stronghold.

Top-of-the-table Springbok player Branco du Preez returns to the scene of happy memories in Las Vegas. Du Preez played in his 50th tournament for the Blitzboks at the Sam Boyd Stadium last year as well as claiming victory for South Africa.

“This is one of my favourite tournaments, no doubt the crowds really get behind you and it’s an awesome venue to play in,” said Du Preez.

“I like the fact that the pitch is slightly smaller and play a bit more direct. We have done well in the past and I am determined to contribute to another successful effort and just enjoy the rugby. We are focusing on ourselves and taking it game by game and we really appreciate the support we get here and want to thank the South African fans and everyone in Vegas for making us so welcome.”

Fiji, on the back on their win in Hamilton – their first in New Zealand since 2010 – will be eager to build on last year’s runners-up position in Las Vegas. Speaking at the Parade of Nations, Fijian captain Jerry Tuwai said Las Vegas was a very special tournament for the team.

“For me and the squad it is always exciting to come to Vegas because there is such a great Fijian community who come out from all over the States to support us so it is special for us – it’s a Fijian family away from home,” he said. “For us our aim is to focus on Russia in our opening game. We have a lot of new boys in the squad and so the New Zealand Sevens gave us a big boost and we are excited for this weekend’s tournament.”

Las Vegas Pools

Pool A: Fiji, Kenya, France, Russia
Pool B: South Africa, England, Canada, Wales
Pool C: Australia, Samoa, USA, Spain
Pool D: New Zealand, Scotland, Argentina, Uruguay

With thanks to World Rugby

Magic men for Blitzbokke secure quarter final spot

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The Blitzbokke is well underway to defend their Sydney title by reaching the quarter finals on SaturdayDay 2

Seabelo Senatla and Justin Geduld scored two tries each as the Blitzboks beat England 33-12 on day two of the Sydney Sevens on Saturday.

In a straight shootout for pool honours and a quarter-final match against the Pool B runners-up, South Africa produced their most complete performance to overcome the stern challenge England posed.

In a first-half that stretched over nine minutes and 30 seconds, England – who had the Blitzboks’ measure in their previous encounters in recent months – looked ominously close to continue their dominance in this fixture.

But after conceding an early converted try due to a defensive lapse in concentration by Cecil Afrika right on the tryline, South Africa fought back brilliantly to take a commanding lead at the interval.

Afrika made up for his early defensive error with an excellent pick-up and pop pass off the ground to Seabelo for a try which erased England’s lead.

After patient passage of play, Tim Agaba looked to have scored but replays confirmed his feet went over the deadball line before grounding the ball. It could have been a costly mistake, but fortunately for him, the Blitzboks played under a penalty advantage at the time.

South Africa edged ahead when Afrika scored their second try. In possession in their own half with a seven-point lead and the half-time hooter sounding, the Blitzboks would have been excused for ending the half. But they kept the ball alive and went 65m downfield for a try under the posts, scored by Geduld.

Geduld continued to stamp his authority on the match and soon after the restart, the playmaker scored his second, and South Africa’s fourth, try for a 28-7 scoreline.

After finally getting their hands on the ball, England’s Dan Bibby crashed over to spark a glimmer of hope, but Senatla scuttled away for another try in the last minute of the game to wrap up the result.

Day 1

Blitzbok flyer Rosko Specman bagged a hat-trick of tries as the Bok Sevens team opened their Sydney Sevens campaign with a strong 50-0 win over Papua New Guinea on Friday.

Coach Neil Powell was pleased with the eight try romp, but warned that Spain and England, the remaining opponents for the Blitzboks in pool C of the tournament, will ask more challenging questions from his team when they clash on Saturday.

“Spain is a team that is making great progress,” said Powell.

“They play some good sevens and we need to start all over again when we face them on Saturday. We need to lay down the foundation for the rest of the day.”

Specman (who goes by the handle @speckmagic11 on Twitter) scored his tries in the second, eighth and 11thminutes of play, with Ruhan Nel (twice), Seabelo Senatla, Stedman Gans and Cecil Afrika also crossing the tryline. Justin Geduld kicked four conversions and Afrika one.

“I asked the guys to keep the game structured and was happy with this win as PNG loves to play against an unstructured defence,” said Powell.

“We were in a position to make changes at half-time already and it was good to give everyone a run, to get their lungs going.”

The Springbok Sevens are the defending champions at the event, the third of ten in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Support Fiji bid to host a leg of the HSBC Sevens

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Rugby Sevens is our sport. It’s time to share our passion with the world and get behind Fiji Rugby’s bid for a leg of the World Series Sevens. Now, more than ever, we need every Fiji Rugby Fan to help make this dream a reality. Join our army of support to see the Gold medallist Fiji 7s team battle it out on home turf in front of our passionate Fiji Rugby supporters. By registering below you’ll also go in the running for a trip for two to the Hong Kong Sevens, including Fiji Airways return flights, 4-nights’ accommodation and 3-day match entry.

We have proven to the world we are champions on the field, now it’s time to showcase all that Fiji has to offer in terms of its passion for rugby, hospitality, fun, sun and friendly people.

So come on, get behind the FRU and join us in the bid…

Fiji for 7s – IT’S FIJI’S TIME!!!

Simply log on to the site and do your thing to support the boys

https://www.fijifor7s.com/

 

Senatla reach milestone as Blitzboks reach Cup quarter finals

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South Africa has yet again qualified for the quarter finals of the Cape Town Sevens after winning all their matches on Day 1.

It was not always easy going but at the end won all three at the end with ease.

Fiji, New Zealand, France are also all through to the Cup quarter finals on Sunday which will be quite an exciting day of Sevens rugby yet again in the Mother City.

South Africa, England, Canada and the USA top their respective pools with the USA the surprise package of the day causing a few upsets

Sunday’s fixtures will see the following teams going at it for the Challenge Trophy and the Cup trophy 
All times local (GMT +2)

CHALLENGE TROPHY QUARTER FINALS
Kenya v Samoa at 10:36
Scotland v Spain at 10:58
Wales v Russia at 11:20
Australia v Uganda at 11:42

CUP QUARTER FINALS
South Africa v Fiji at 12:04
England v New Zealand at 12:26
Canada v France at 12:48
USA v Argentina at 13:10

Day 1 Results 

Day One results

Samoa 19-17 Canada
Fiji 28-14 Wales
Scotland 14-19 Argentina
England 36-0 Uganda
Australia 36-12 Spain
New Zealand 0-22 USA
Kenya 14-21 France
South Africa 40-5 Russia
Samoa 12-17 Wales
Fiji 14-22 Canada
Scotland 45-0 Uganda
England 24-7 Argentina
Australia 14-31 USA
New Zealand 50-0 Spain
Kenya 34-0 Russia
South Africa 31-5 France
Canada 31-14 Wales
Fiji 38-7 Samoa
Argentina 43-7 Uganda
England 12-7 Scotland
Spain 5-26 USA
New Zealand 35-12 Australia
France 21-5 Russia
South Africa 26-7 Kenya

Seabelo Senatla was the talk of the town when he got to his 200th Sevens try. It was great for the South African speedster to get to this milestone in his home tournament and at home in Cape Town.

We looking forward to day two of the Cape Town Sevens

Powel leaves Dubai winning team as is for Cape Town Sevens

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Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell rewarded the 12 players who won the opening tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai when he named an unchanged squad for the highly anticipated HSBC Cape Town Sevens on Wednesday.

The tournament takes place in the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday and Sunday and tickets were sold out in a matter of hours after they went on sale a couple of months ago.

“All the players would love to play in their only home tournament on the circuit, so the result at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens made it easy for me to pick the team,” said Powell.

“Everyone returned fit from that tournament and will have the added motivation of playing in front of a very supportive home crowd.

“The only change to our squad is the official reserve – we have included Siviwe Soyizwapi in the place of Marco Labuschagne – which was part of our planning all along.

“Siviwe travelled to Dubai as captain of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy squad, which gave him the opportunity to get some playing time. He performed very well there and he will slot in easily, should one of our players pick up and injury which rules him out of the tournament.”

Powell admitted that he was feeling slightly nervous as the tournament approached, but he is comfortable that his squad prepared well.

“We needed to fine-tune a couple of things that we did not execute well in Dubai,” said Powell.

“This we did that and still have two training sessions left this week, so we have to ensure the players are mentally ready for the big event.”

South Africa will play Russia, France and Kenya in Pool A of the competition on Saturday.

The Springbok Sevens team for the HSBC Cape Town Sevens:

1. Chris Dry (63 tournaments, 304 matches, 455 points, 91 tries)
2. Philip Snyman (captain, 48 tournaments, 213 matches, 306 points, 55 tries)
3. Tim Agaba (11 tournaments, 55 matches, 45 points, 9 tries)
4. Kwagga Smith (28 tournaments, 141 matches, 290 points, 58 tries)
5. Werner Kok (30 tournaments, 148 matches, 360 points, 72 tries)
6. Kyle Brown (59 tournaments, 291 matches, 395 points, 79 tries)
7. Branco du Preez (56 tournaments, 281 matches, 1079 points, 79 tries)
8. Rosko Specman (22 tournaments, 117 matches, 278 points, 50 tries)
9. Justin Geduld (31 tournaments, 158 matches, 684 points, 76 tries)
10. Cecil Afrika (54 tournaments, 279 matches, 1322 points, 152 tries)
11. Seabelo Senatla (34 tournaments, 173 matches, 980 points, 196 tries)
12. Ruhan Nel (22 tournaments, 110 matches, 187 points, 37 tries)
13. Siviwe Soyizwapi* (12 tournament, 57 matches, 175 points, 35 tries)
*Replacement Player

World Rugby bans messages on strapping in Sevens

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World Rugby has confirmed it has introduced rules which ban players from writing messages on strapping worn on their wrists in matches in the Sevens World Series.

The move was revealed by New Zealand players who said they had been warned they could be fined up to $1,000 for breaking the rule which bans the appearance of any messages — personal, religious or political — on strapping tape.

The New Zealand Rugby Players Association said Wednesday the rule was “buried” in a participation agreement signed by teams ahead of the season-opening tournament in Dubai and had not previously been announced to players or national rugby unions.

World Rugby has defended the move, saying it is necessary to make sevens rugby compliant with International Olympic Committee regulations which ban athletes from wearing any unauthorized slogans, logos, messages or symbols. Sevens became an Olympic sport for the first time at last year’s Rio de Janiero Games.

 “There has been a significant increase in strapping art or messages in the series in recent seasons which is impossible to police for inappropriate or political statements by the match officials in the short period of time before entering the field in a sevens environment across multiple matches and in multiple languages,” World Rugby said in a statement.

“While World Rugby recognizes that the overwhelming majority of the messages are appropriate and that is something that the players enjoy doing, there have been a small number of occasions where messages have gone unchecked and caused offense to teams, nations, commercial partners etc.

“This is a common-sense approach that has been accepted by all participating teams.”

But NZRPA chief executive Rob Nichol said the the ban was “poorly implemented” and he would work to have it repealed.

“I think the whole process that’s been around it has been poor,” Nichol told Fairfax media. “It hasn’t gone out for consultation and that’s a big problem.

“It makes the game and themselves look a bit stupid. By just unilaterally making this decision and then imposing it on the athletes, that’s just completely contrary to the values and the character of the game.”

Nichol said he did not believe the writing of messages on strapping tape was a major problem as most messages were of a personal, not a political nature.

“From a rugby perspective, how prevalent is it?” he said. “I’d say 99.9 percent of athletes that do it, there is nothing wrong with what they write.”

All Blacks prop Kane Hames was censured last year for writing a message on wrist strapping which supported Native Americans protesting against the routing of an oil pipeline through tribal lands.

Thanks to 

Get Ready for Sevens action this weekend

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The World Rugby HSBC Sevens circus kicks off this Friday in Dubai and with again so much going wrong with the Springboks and South African rugby it will be a great relieve to see the Blitzboks defending their title.

We have the Cape Town Sevens sold out earlier this year within hours after last year sold out tournament showing the South African public hunger for a national team which can provide us with success. It is not always the amount of wins or trophies but the way this team is going on with it.

They are the fittest teams around the circuit and one of the teams that are supported all over the world due to their attitude on and off the field.

The Blitzboks success is not something that just happened.

The structures that have been put in place for this team has been the foundation of their success and it started that all the players are contracted and controlled by SARU and not the unions.

The development play as big a roll for the team and Sevens Academy Manager, Marius Schoeman has been doing the hard yards in developing the next generation of Blitzbok stars.

This weekend sees the kick-off the 2017-2018 season which includes a World Cup next year and the Commonwealth Games which the Blitzbokke will be defending as well.

Here is Day fixtures:

USA v Argentina 07:00 Canada v Uganda 12:14
New Zealand v Samoa 07:22 South Africa v Kenya 12:36
Australia v Wales 07:44 Scotland v Spain 12:58
Fiji v Russia 08:06 England v France 13:20
Canada v Kenya 08:30 Argentina v Samoa 16:00
South Africa v Uganda 08:52 New Zealand v USA 16:22
Scotland v France 09:14 Wales v Russia 16:44
England v Spain 09:36 Fiji v Australia 17:06
USA v Samoa 10:00 Kenya v Uganda 17:31
New Zealand v Argentina 10:22 South Africa v Canada 17:53
Australia v Russia 10:44 France v Spain 18:15
Fiji v Wales 11:06 England v Scotland 18:37

All of the Matches will be broadcast on SuperSport on Friday and Saturday with highlights and repeats throughout the weekend .

Sevens coach Powell picked a experience squad to defend their world crown with some old hands like Kwagga Smith, Kyle Brown, Justin Geduld and Seabola Senatla all back in the squad.

With an average number of 37 tournaments per player this is a very good side to start the season.

We also have Siviwe Soyizwapi who will lead a talented Academy squad to the Dubai Sevens international tournament, which will also see Stormers star player Sikhumbuzo Notshe getting his first taste of sevens action.

Blitzboks squad: Chris Dry, Philip Snyman, Tim Agaba, Kwagga Smith, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla, Ruhan Nel, Marco Labuschagne (replacement player).

Academy squad: Gift Dlamini, JC Pretorius, Sako Makata, Selvyn Davids, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Ryan Oosthuizen, Stedman Gans, Zain Davids, Dewald Human, Mosolwa Mafuma, Impi Visser, Sikhumbuzo Notshe.

Don’t miss any of the actions as we will bring you the latest updates throughout the weekend.

Go Blitzbokke, and make us proud yet again

NZ name experienced squad for Dubai Sevens

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All Blacks Sevens head coach Clark Laidlaw has named an experienced squad for the opening leg of the 2017/2018 World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai.

Laidlaw announced that Scott Curry and Tim Mikkelson will co-captain the team for the busy 2017/2018 season which kicks off in Dubai on 1 and 2 December and includes the Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens.

“It would be tough to captain on your own over such a long season as it’s impossible for a player to play every minute of every match in a sevens season so we feel doubling up helps our group,” he told the All Blacks’ official website.

“The way they are working together and getting the best out of men and the environment is exciting. Having Scott and Tim will grow our leadership on and off the field.”

Laidlaw has selected 14 players to travel to Dubai, all with previous Sevens World Series experience.

“We wanted to pick as many players that have been with us throughout the pre-season as possible,” he explained.

“They have the best understanding of what we are trying to do and deserve this first opportunity.

“What is exciting is knowing that the six or so players staying behind, will be working hard to get up to speed and that will make it tough to pick squads for the tournaments ahead.”

The All Blacks Sevens finished runners-up at the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship earlier this month and Laidlaw said the tournament was a great opportunity to get some key learnings.

“On the field, there was some good stuff and also areas that need improvement, so we have reflected on that and what we need to add into our game,” he added.

“The massive positive was around the values and vision that we have as a group. We are excited about what the players have done off the field and the foundation that has been set.”

The All Blacks Sevens kick off the Dubai event playing Samoa, followed by pool matches against Argentina and USA. Laidlaw said the focus is firmly on preparing for the first match.

“We are not looking any further than that. We want to prepare well, if we get that right it should give us the clarity to play well in game one.”

New Zealand squad for Dubai 7s: Dylan Collier (Waikato), Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty), Sam Dickson (Canterbury), Tim Mikkelson (Waikato), Tone Ng Shiu (Tasman), Teddy Stanaway (Bay of Plenty), Kurt Baker (Manawatu), Andrew Knewstubb (Tasman), Vilimoni Koroi (Otago), Sione Molia (Counties Manukau), Joe Ravouvou (Auckland), Issac Te Tamaki (Waikato), Regan Ware (Bay of Plenty), Joe Webber (Bay of Plenty)

Experience Blitzbokke squad for Dubai

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The Blitzboks have announced a experience squad to defend their world crown when the World Rugby 2017-18 World Series kick off next week in Dubai.

Some of the old stalwarts like Kwagga Smith, Kyle Brown, Justin Geduld and Seabola Senatla are all back in the team.

With an average number of 37 tournaments per player we have a great team to start the year in Dubai.

‘We are fortunate to be in this situation,’ coach Neil Powell said. ‘There was a concerted effort to broaden our player base last season as we knew we would lose Seabelo and Kwagga after four tournaments, but then we lost Kyle and Justin to injury as well, and that certainly tested us.

‘Despite blooding a handful of new guys last year, we still have the benefit of a really solid squad. We were blessed with the lack of injuries, especially as a number of the players had a stint in fifteens as well.’

Powell feels that the mental challenge will be as big as the physical one.

‘We know we can win tournaments if we believe in our systems and structures. The reality is that we will have a target on our backs this year, being the defending champions, not only in the series, but also in Dubai. We need to keep on believing that we can maintain the standards we have set as a team.’

Meanwhile, Siviwe Soyizwapi will lead a talented Academy squad to the Dubai Sevens international tournament, where Stormers star Sikhumbuzo Notshe is set to receive his first taste of sevens action.

Blitzboks squad: Chris Dry, Philip Snyman, Tim Agaba, Kwagga Smith, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla, Ruhan Nel, Marco Labuschagne (replacement player).

Academy squad: Gift Dlamini, JC Pretorius, Sako Makata, Selvyn Davids, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Ryan Oosthuizen, Stedman Gans, Zain Davids, Dewald Human, Mosolwa Mafuma, Impi Visser, Sikhumbuzo Notshe.

Dubai Sevens ready to go

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World Sevens circus is starting up soon and we cannot wait for the first one in Dubai where the Blitzboks were draw in the same pool as Canada, Kenya and Uganda.

South Africa is the defending champions and they will be looking to defend the series title when it kicks off on the 1 and 2 December in Dubai.

 

Pool B has a European feel to it as England meet Scotland, France and the newly promoted Spain.

Olympic champions Fiji are drawn in Pool C with Australia, Wales and Japan while New Zealand, USA, Argentina and Samoa make up Pool D.

The second leg of this year series will move to Cape Town which has been sold out for months now on the 9 and 10 December.

The tournament runs over 10 legs and ends next year in Scotland

The second leg of the men’s season will, once again, take place in Cape Town. Dates for that tournament are December 9 and 10. Tickets are sold out for that weekend.

There are 10 rounds that makes up the World Series.