Preview: Hong Kong Sevens
Wed, 20 Mar 2013 20:14
I have taken a picture of this Cup
South Africa will look to break their Hong Kong duck, when the biggest tournament on the IRB Sevens World Series takes place at the weekend.
The Hong Kong Sevens, Round Six on the nine-tournament circuit, takes place on from Friday (March 22) to Sunday (March 24).
As well as the sixth round of the Sevens World Series, which Hong Kong will compete in against the 15 core teams having qualified as Asian champions, 12 sides will be looking to finish in the top four of the pre-core team qualifier.
For South Africa - winners at the last stop on the circuit, in Las Vegas - Hong Kong represents the only tournament they are yet to win.
Coach Paul Treu spoke about his desire to be the first side to win two Cups this season at the tournament's official press conference.
"I have taken a picture of this Cup because it is almost like the closest we have come to it in the last 20 years," said Treu.
"We do have the opportunity to become the first team this season to win successive tournaments, and there is everything to play for.
"This is going to be one of the most competitive tournaments this season but I believe the team who wants to win it the most will be holding the Cup at the end."
South Africa are second in the World Series standings behind last year's runners-up New Zealand, and their captain DJ Forbes believes the competitive nature will only increase in Hong Kong.
"The big teams definitely take it to another level here in Hong Kong," added Forbes." Everyone has seen how consistent we are, we have been in a lot of finals this year.
"For us it is about error free rugby and we are looking for number two, and it would be pretty special to do it here in Hong Kong. We never like to come here and lose, a lot of teams target this one. Every time we watch that final we get a lot of passion back and that is what is going to drive us come game time."
Fiji, who defeated Forbes' side 35-21 in last year's final, will be without their injured captain Setefano Cakau, but Nemani Nagusa believes they can still defend their title.
"It will be hard to defend, it is always hard to defend a title, but we have come prepared and are looking forward to a great tournament. He [Cakau] has always been a role model for me, but we can't do much about him not being here and I have a good bunch of boys who I believe can do the job."
(Kick-off is local - GMT plus four hours)
Day One - Friday March 22:
Fiji v Hong Kong, 17.06
Scotland v Portugal, 17.28
United States v Kenya, 17.50
Wales v Australia, 18.12
Canada v Spain, 20.10
Samoa v England, 20.32
New Zealand v France, 20.54
South Africa v Argentina, 21.16
Day Two - Saturday March 23:
Fiji v Spain, 10.06
Scotland v England, 10.28
United States v France, 10.50
Wales v Argentina, 11.12
Canada v Hong Kong, 12.40
Samoa v Portugal, 13.02
New Zealand v Kenya, 13.24
South Africa v Australia, 13.46
Spain v Hong Kong, 16.20
England v Portugal, 16.42
France v Kenya, 17.04
Argentina v Australia, 17.26
Canada v Fiji, 18.54
Samoa v Scotland, 19.16
New Zealand v United States, 19.38
South Africa v Wales, 20.00
With thanks to the IRB
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