2017–18 World Rugby Sevens Series

DanDango

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#1
2017–18 World Rugby Sevens Series https://www.worldrugby.org/sevens-series/?lang=en

The World Rugby Sevens Series, known officially as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series due to sponsorship from banking group HSBC,[1] is an annual series of international rugby sevens tournaments run by World Rugby featuring national sevens teams. The series, organised for the first time as the World Sevens Series in the 1999–2000 season, was formed to develop an elite-level competition series between rugby nations and develop the sevens game into a viable commercial product for World Rugby.

Teams compete for the World Rugby Sevens Series title by accumulating points based on their finishing position in each tournament. New Zealand had originally dominated the Series, winning each of the first six titles from 1999–2000 to 2004–05, but since then, Fiji, South Africa and Samoa have each won season titles.

As of the 2015–16 season, the season's circuit consists of 10 tournaments in 10 countries, and visits five of the six populated continents. Australia, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, France and England each host one event. Two previous host countries, Singapore and France, returned to the circuit for the 2015–16 season to replace Japan and Scotland, and a completely new tour stop in Canada was also added.
 

DanDango

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#2
HSBC Sevens Series Schedule 2017/18 Series

Dubai,1-2 Dec 2017,7He Sevens
South Africa, 9-10 Dec 2017, Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
New Zealand , 26-28 Jan 2018, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Australia, 3-04 Feb 2018, FMG Stadium, Hamilton
USA, 2-4 Mar 2018, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas
Canada, 10-11 Mar 201, BC Place, Vancouver
Hong Kong, 6-8 April 2018, Hong Kong Stadium
Singapore, 28-29 April 2018, National Stadium, Singapore
England, 2-3June 2018, Twickenham, London
France, 8-10 June 2018, Stade Jean Bouin, Paris
 
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DanDango

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#3
Commonwealth Games 2018, Gold Coast: 14-15 April
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, San Francisco: 20-22 July
 

DanDango

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#4
2018 Dubai 7s Preview https://www.usasevens.com/las-vegas/2018-dubai-7s-preview/

As music playing in the background of groceries and offices reminds, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” While those jingles are certainly referring to the holiday season, for rugby fans, the reason is a bit different. Kicking off this week in Dubai is the 2017–2018 HSBC Sevens World Series. For fans of team USA there is a great deal of excitement for both the men’s and women’s programs as we lead up to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco in July.

The excitement is the product of great recent success for both squads. For the men, team USA reached new heights last season. A string of seven top-six finishes to close the year, including five semifinals and a tough loss to Canada in the Singapore Cup Final, lead the Eagles to a fifth-place finish on the series. That was one spot ahead of the team’s previous best. Add to that remarkable years for Danny Barrett and Perry Baker. Each were named to the season dream team, and Baker was named World Rugby’s 7s Player of the Year earlier this week.

For the women, a finals appearance in Sydney and a semifinal run in Vegas saw tremendous growth for a squad that has not always lived up to the high hopes its fans carry for it. After starting with an eleventh-place finish in Dubai, the Women rattled off six straight top-seven finishes, including four top-six showings. It will be important for the Eagles to show that they can sustain that run. In recent years, the team has started slowly and improved as the season progressed.

Dubai, however, has long proved a hurdle for the American women. Since finishing fourth in 2011, team USA has not placed higher than seventh in Dubai. In 2015, the Eagles’ lone victory was a revenge win over Ireland in the eleventh-place match, having lost to the Irish in pool play. In 2016, the Americans started the tournament with a strong win over Russia, but then lost three straight matches before defeating Brazil for eleventh.

A tough pool draw pits the Eagles against defending series champion New Zealand, France, who finished last season only one spot behind the Americans and ahead of team USA in each of the last two tournaments, and South Africa. While the South African women’s team is not as accomplished as its male counterpart, it still a formidable foe. The South Africans have won the Women’s Africa Cup Sevens title the last five years without dropping a match. In the inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens (2009), South Africa reached the semifinal before losing to New Zealand.

In order to overcome the difficult pool, the American squad will need to be quick learners. Of the twelve women, seven of them combine for a mere three caps. Four are competing in their first tournament and three more have only one prior tournament under their belts. But the team still has out-right stars to help carry the load. Naya Tapper led all Americans and finished second overall in tries last season with an astonishing 32. Joining her are Olympic veterans Alev Kelter and Ryan Carlyle. Kelter continues her unbroken streak of appearances in an Eagles shirt in every series tournament since her debut in 2014. And the side will be captained by Nicole Heaverirland.

The American women will kickoff against France on Thursday (11/30).

For the men, Dubai has often proven a difficult venue to start. With the exception of a tremendous third-place result in 2015, which saw the Eagles defeat New Zealand for the first and second time, Dubai has often proven a low-point in the season. In 2014, team USA finished eleventh before turning the season around in South Africa. In 2016, team USA finished ninth. But there is great reason to expect much better in 2017.

For the first time in recent memory, team USA has the benefit of not starting the Sevens World Series season without getting wet behind the ears. The Eagles were one of twelve teams to compete at the inaugural Silicon Valley Sevens in San Jose, earlier this month. The Eagles beat Tonga, New Zealand, Chile, Fiji, and England ahead of a narrow defeat to Australia in the tournament final. And, mind you, that was a squad with some, but not all of the great stars team USA has assembled for Dubai.

Absent convincing Andrew Durutalo to abandon the Worcester Warriors, it’s hard to imagine a better roster for Coach Mike Friday. Leading the pack, as usual, is Captain Madison Hughes. Hughes was tabbed as the thirteenth man for San Jose, but fortunately was not called into duty. Among Eagles, only Perry Baker outpaced Hughes in scoring last year. But that comes as no surprise, since Baker finished as both the top try scorer and top points scorer on the series. Hughes, was left to settle for third in overall points.

Joining Hughes as absences from San Jose are Baker and Danny Barrett, neither of whom need do anything more to cement a place in American rugby history. Baker is the quintessential speedster on the wing who combines both quickness and decision making to gallop away from defenders, often untouched. Barrett, on the other hand, mixes power and pace to often bulldoze his way through the competition. That is certainly not to say that Barrett cannot out sprint many on the circuit, but he is a man who need not always find a gap to find space, as over a player is just as viable a route as around.

Returning after a lengthy hiatus and having battled back through injury is Carlin Isles. The man often known as the fastest man in rugby has not been in an Eagles shirt since a five-try outing in Australia last season. After a difficult return to health, Isles is poised to provide the much-needed extra energy and speed to spell Baker. Historically, Coach Friday used Isles and Baker interchangeably with each having similar speed and explosiveness on the wing. In Isles’ absence, Baker has transformed into the best player in the game. That likely will see Baker remain the go-to, but the absence of Isles has limited Baker in the past, keeping him on the field longer than desired. The ability to substitute Isles for Baker and keep the gas flowing is invaluable.

Also on the roster are San Jose dream team selections Ben Pinkelman, Folau Niua, and Stephen Tomasin. It is often easy to overlook the contributions that these three men make to the team, though sometimes they make it so apparent that you could not overlook them even if you tried. It has been said before and should be repeated over and over again: Folau Niua is the best restart kicker in the game and team USA drops off dramatically without his consistency. Add to that his field awareness and timely to space, and you have a player every bit as vital to the team as anyone else. Similarly, Pinkelman is a tremendous defender and all-around worker. And Tomasin’s six tries and thirty-two points in San Jose speak for themselves.

Also in the lineup from the Silicon Valley Sevens are series regulars Matai Leuta, Maka Unufe, and Martin Iosefo. Iosefo and Unufe combined for six tries in San Jose and are always poised to find a seam and explode for a score or pound defenders. Leuta is another one of the pieces that you can overlook but has been part of the vital core of team USA success. Last year, only six players were in the lineup for all ten tournaments: Durutalo, Niua, Baker, Tomasin, Iosefo, and, you guessed it, Matai Leuta.

More recent additions to the squad are Joe Schroeder and Malon Al Jiboori. Al Jiboori received a cap last season in very limited action. He was designated the thirteenth man for several tournaments and saw limited action in the semifinal victory over Australia in Singapore. He will be looking to cement himself into every-tournament status this season. Like Al Jiboori, Joe Schroeder will be looking to break into regular status in what will be his first outing on the series. Schroeder notched two tries in San Jose to help get him this spot.

Also traveling with the team will be Naima Fualaau as the thirteenth man. Fualaau was with the team in the last leg of the 2016–17 series in England.

The draw for team USA is far from easy. The Eagles will start with Argentina. Despite a slight dip in recent years, Argentina is always a tough out and is coming off a strong season that included six quarterfinals and a challenge trophy. Team USA will look to build on an impressive five-match winning streak over Argentina that began last season in Australia.

The second match for the United States is no less difficult. Although Samoa has been on hard times in recent years, it is a team that can always come together and win big, as the Samoans have shown in each of the past two seasons in Paris. And Samoa enters with wins over Fiji, Canada, Ireland, and Japan, and a draw with England in San Jose. While those squads were not necessarily at full strength, the simple fact is that Samoa looked much improved earlier this month and will be a tough out.

And the final match of pool play should be the pool decider between the United States and New Zealand. It is easy to sleep on New Zealand after what a squad in the all black shirts did at the Silicon Valley Sevens. That team found itself on the cusp of missing out on an international quarterfinal for the first time, needing help to get in. And once the team was in, it was awful, settling for seventh. But the team in Dubai is much different, much more experienced, and will be reminiscent of the All Blacks Sevens teams in recent years: far from invincible, but poised to chug along to yet another top-four series finish.

For the men, the action gets underway Friday (12/1) in Dubai and concludes on Saturday (12/2). Make sure to check back for a complete recap of all the action.

The 2018 Dubai 7s will be available on ESPN 3 via the links below.
 

DanDango

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#5
HSBC Sevens World Series Dubai | FIXTURES

Day 1:

December 2017
1 USA v Argentina 07:00
1 New Zealand v Samoa 07:22
1 Australia v Wales 07:44
1 Fiji v Russia 08:06
1 Canada v Kenya 08:30
1 South Africa v Uganda 08:52
1 Scotland v France 09:14
1 England v Spain 09:36
1 USA v Samoa 10:00
1 New Zealand v Argentina 10:22
1 Australia v Russia 10:44
1 Fiji v Wales 11:06
1 Canada v Uganda 12:14
1 South Africa v Kenya 12:36
1 Scotland v Spain 12:58
1 England v France 13:20
1 Argentina v Samoa 16:00
1 New Zealand v USA 16:22
1 Wales v Russia 16:44
1 Fiji v Australia 17:06
1 Kenya v Uganda 17:31
1 South Africa v Canada 17:53
1 France v Spain 18:15
1 England v Scotland 18:37
 

DanDango

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#6
Rusty Blitzboks off to winning start http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/Sevens/rusty-blitzboks-off-to-winning-start-20171201

Cape Town - The Blitzboks got their 2017/18 World Rugby Sevens Series campaign off to a winning start when they beat Uganda in their first game at the Dubai Sevens on Friday.

RESULTS FROM THE DUBAI SEVENS

The South Africans won 19-10, after leading 14-0 at half-time.

It was however a rusty performance from the South Africans, who made several unforced errors that would have irked coach Neil Powell.

Powell will not be happy with his team's handling, as well as the six penalties they conceded.

Later on Friday, the Blitzboks tackle Kenya (12:36 SA time) and Canada (17:53).

Scorers:

South Africa

Tries: Ruhan Nel, Philip Snyman, Tim Agaba

Conversions: Branco du Preez (2)

Uganda

Tries: Solomon Okia, Philip Wokorach
 

DanDango

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#7
Blitzboks run riot against Kenya http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/Sevens/blitzboks-run-riot-against-kenya-20171201

Cape Town - The Blitzboks produced an improved performance when they thumped Kenya in their second Pool A match at the Dubai Sevens on Friday.

RESULTS FROM THE DUBAI SEVENS

The South Africans won 48-5, after leading 17-5 at half-time.

Speedster Seabelo Senatla scored a hat-trick as the Blitzboks recovered from an early Kenya try to cross the whitewash eight times.

Earlier in the day, the Blitzboks looked rusty in their first match when they beat Uganda 19-10.

In their final Pool A clash on Friday, the South Africans face Canada (17:53 SA time).
Scorers:

South Africa

Tries: Seabelo Senatla (3), Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez, Justin Geduld, Kwagga Smith, Rosko Specman

Conversion: Branco du Preez (2), Afrika (2)

Kenya

Try: Jeffery Oluoch
 

DanDango

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#9
Senatla secures Blitzboks SF spot in Dubai http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/Sevens/senatla-secures-blitzboks-sf-spot-in-dubai-20171202

Cape Town - The Blitzboks continue to impress in the first Sevens World Series event of the season after they beat Samoa 26-10 in Saturday's first Cup quarter-final.

It was no surprise that Seabelo Senatla was the first man on the scoresheet in just the second minute as he rounded off a South African attack that had started with a Cecil Afrika interception.

Samoa, though, hit back immediately when Faalemiga Selesele went over in the right corner after the Blitzboks had slipped a few tackles.

Senatla had his second when a piece of individual brilliance saw him step his way around two Samoan defenders and score under the posts.

That gave the Blitzboks a 12-5 lead going into half-time.

Samoa struck first after the restart as Alamanda Motuga barged his way over down the right, but with the conversion going wide the Blitzboks still led 12-10.

Werner Kok then scored South Africa's third, and when Afrika's conversion went over the champions had a comfortable 19-10 lead.

With the Blitzboks bench giving Neil Powell's men some fresh legs, Tim Agaba went over for the fourth that put the game to bed.

On Friday, the Blitzboks cruised through their pool with victories over Uganda, Kenya and Canada.

They will now meet Fiji in Saturday's semi-final. That match will take place at 14:19 (SA time).

Scorers:

SA

Tries: Seabelo Senatla (2), Werner Kok, Tim Agaba

Conversions: Branco du Preez, Cecil Afrika (2)

Samoa

Tries: Faalemiga Selesele, Alamanda Motuga
 

DanDango

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#10
HSBC Sevens World Series Dubai | RESULTS
December 2017
2 England 26 - 19 Australia
2 New Zealand 14 - 12 Kenya
2 Fiji 35 - 24 Scotland
2 South Africa 26 - 10 Samoa
2 Spain 31 - 0 Russia
2 Argentina 26 - 7 Uganda
2 Argentina 26 - 7 Uganda
2 Wales 17 - 24 France
2 Canada 10 - 5 USA
1 England 29 - 0 Scotland
1 France 12 - 14 Spain
1 South Africa 28 - 0 Canada
1 Kenya 29 - 14 Uganda
1 Fiji 26 - 19 Australia
1 Wales 29 - 5 Russia
1 New Zealand 22 - 12 USA
1 Argentina 12 - 22 Samoa
1 England 14 - 12 France
1 Scotland 26 - 21 Spain
1 South Africa 48 - 5 Kenya
1 Canada 22 - 17 Uganda
1 Fiji 21 - 7 Wales
1 Australia 47 - 0 Russia
1 New Zealand 21 - 19 Argentina
1 USA 14 - 26 Samoa
1 England 28 - 0 Spain
1 Scotland 24 - 14 France
1 South Africa 19 - 10 Uganda
1 Canada 15 - 29 Kenya
1 Fiji 50 - 7 Russia
1 Australia 38 - 7 Wales
1 New Zealand 24 - 12 Samoa
1 USA 14 - 22 Argentina
 

DanDango

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#12
Blitzboks win back-to-back Dubai Sevens title https://www.enca.com/sport/rugby/blitzboks-win-back-to-back-dubai-sevens-title

DUBAI - The Springbok Sevens team won a second Dubai Sevens title in as many years at The Sevens Stadium on Saturday and again took an early lead in the World Rugby Sevens Series

The Blitzboks outplayed New Zealand 24-12 in a hard-fought final to keep their unbeaten record in Dubai in 2017 intact, following wins over Samoa (26-10) and Fiji (12-7) in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the tournament respectively.
 

DanDango

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#13
Jamaica complete Gold Coast 2018 rugby sevens line-up after winning final qualifier
https://www.insidethegames.biz/arti...-sevens-line-up-after-winning-final-qualifier

Jamaica will make their debut appearance in Commonwealth Games rugby sevens at Gold Coast 2018 after becoming the final nation to qualify.

The two-day Rugby Americas North Sevens was the official qualification event for the Games, as well as the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, Hong Kong Sevens and the Central American and Caribbean Games.

Jamaica boosted their chances of reaching the competitions by winning their pool in the preliminary stage of the qualifier in Campo Marte.

Their squad beat the Dominican Republic 26-7, before a dominant 35-0 success against Bermuda.

They were placed in a pool with hosts Mexico and the Cayman Islands on the second day of the event, with the winners progressing to the final.

Jamaica were able to edge out the Cayman Islands 19-17 in their first tie, before earning a more comfortable 16-12 success against Mexico.

The victories set up an encounter with Guyana, after the six-time winners topped their pool.

A closely fought battle in the final followed, with Jamaica emerging as 28-24 winners to secure their passage to four tournaments.

Guyana were assured of a place at the 2018 Hong Kong Sevens after finishing as runners-up.

They will be joined by third and fourth place finishers Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.

Mexico beat Trinidad and Tobago 5-0 in the women’s final to reach the Rugby Sevens World Cup and the Hong Kong Sevens, as well as the Central American and Caribbean Games.

Jamaica’s victory in the men’s tournament confirmed the list of qualifiers for Gold Coast 2018, where they will join Oceania qualifier Papua New Guinea.

Uganda and Zambia were confirmed as the African qualifiers last month, while Sri Lanka and Malaysia advanced from Asia.

South Africa, England, Fiji, New Zealand, Scotland, Canada, Wales, Kenya and Samoa automatically qualified due to their world rankings, while Australia were assured of a place as hosts.

The women’s event will feature Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Fiji, England, South Africa, Kenya and Wales.
 

Cray

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#15
[video=youtube;dJ6VcN0t1Eg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ6VcN0t1Eg[/video]
 
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