Sydney World Sevens
Rugby is one of the most popular contact sports in the world. A major international rugby match can attract thousands of spectators, and millions of viewers from around the globe. Rugby is also one of the more popular betting sports with punters placing wagers on the outcome of each match. One of the more exciting variants of Union Rugby is Sevens Rugby. Unlike the traditional games, Sevens is played with just seven players in each team, and each half only being seven minutes long.
The Rise of Sevens Rugby
Sevens Rugby is comparable to cricket’s T20 where the action is explosive and even the smallest mistake can result in the loss of a game. In Sevens Rugby, the HSBC World Rugby Seven Series is the biggest and most prestigious series in the sport. Resulting from an amalgamation of the Hong Kong Sevens, the Melrose Sevens and the Auckland’s Sevens, the Word Series consists of 15 core teams and one invitational team.
Since the inaugural series in 1999/2000, the World Rugby Sevens Series is held each year in various locations around the world. The series consists of 10 tournaments starting with the Dubai Sevens in December and ending with the Paris Sevens in June. In each tournament, the top teams are awarded points based on their finishing order. At the end of the series, the team with the most points is crowned the Sevens Champion.
South Africa and New Zealand look to Extend their Lead
In 2016, South Africa dominated the Sevens tournaments and were crowned champions long before the series concluded in Paris. In 2017, there have been two tournaments played, including the Dubai and Cape Town Sevens tournaments. Spain won their spot as the invitational team for 2018 and are already showing promise.
In Dubai, South Africa set a precedent for the 2018 season by defeating New Zealand 24 points to 12 in the final. England picked up the bronze medal while Fiji placed fourth. In Cape Town, there was a shift in power. New Zealand advanced to the final and took the honours, defeating Argentina 19-17. South Africa picked up third place while Canada took fourth.
What to Expect in Sydney
From Cape Town, the tournament moves to Sydney where Australia is hoping to use the crowd to gain an advantage. The Sydney 7s will kick off on the 26th of January 2018 and run to the 28th. As it stands, New Zealand holds the lead, with 41 points, followed by South Africa on 39. Australia finds themselves in 6th spot, with just 21 points, although it is still early days.
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