Preview: Hong Kong Sevens

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 21:49

WORLD SERIES SPOTLIGHT: The 2016-17 season has been a whirlwind so far.

From the heat of Dubai, cricket in Cape Town, wind in Wellington, sizzling Sydney sun, virtuoso performances in Las Vegas and dropping the puck with the hockey teams in Vancouver.

Now it's time for Hong Kong.

The 16 team captains gathered under the old clocktower on Wednesday, along with representatives of 12 other teams bidding to join them on the series next year by winning the qualifier that runs side by side with the tournament in Hong Kong this weekend.

With six rounds already played, South Africa lead the way on 126 points, 23 ahead of nearest rivals England.

The BlitzBoks have won four rounds and England the other two.

Interestingly, Olympic champions Fiji, who currently lie in third place, are yet to win a round of the series.

But if there's one place they like to win, it's Hong Kong and captain Osea Kolinisau says his side are preparing well for the event.

"We feel good after coming into Hong Kong early and we're in a really good place and are getting things right," he said.

"We have some tough games and every pool game is tough but it's a good challenge.

"Hong Kong is a special place for every young Fijian. We grow up watching our idols who have worn the white jersey. It's like a right of passage - we say if you haven't played in Hong Kong, you haven't played for Fiji!"

The last rounds of the series saw the United States get to the semifinals in Las Vegas and Vancouver, something they'd like to improve on this weekend in Hong Kong with captain Madison Hughes hoping his side can benefit from the atmosphere in the famous Hong Kong Stadium.

"It's an absolutely incredible atmosphere - the whole crowd get into the game and it just flows onto the field. We are in a strong pool with Scotland, Argentina and Russia but we're confident in ourselves. We're hoping for at least a semifinal but it's about going out there and doing that now."

Hong Kong could also be a special weekend for England's Dan Norton, who is set to become the series top scorer if he dots down this weekend. The 29-year-old has scored 244 tries and currently share the record with Kenya's Collins Injera.

His coach Simon Amor paid tribute to the winger: "Players like Dan Norton set the world on fire and make the game of sevens so exciting.

"He is quick, which helps when you're a winger! He's got wonderful feet, but one of the thing people don't realise is that he is one of the most durable players we have, never misses one minute of training and is fit during every minute of every game. I may have jinxed him now, but he is fit, he works hard and he can keep getting better."

World Rugby vice-chairman Agustín Pichot said: "Hong Kong is one of the biggest and most unique tournaments on the Sevens Series circuit and this weekend will be yet another fantastic event.

"South Africa are deservedly leading the field but there is still a lot of rugby to be played and it will be interesting to see who lifts the trophy on Sunday evening here at the Hong Kong Stadium."

Schedule
(Kick-off is local time - GMT plus eight hours)

Friday, April 7
Australia v Samoa (18.00)
England v South Korea (18.22)
Argentina v Scotland (18.44)
United States v Russia (19.08)
New Zealand v Wales (19.32)
Fiji v Japan (19.54)
Canada v Kenya (20.18)
South Africa v France (20.40)

Saturday, April 8
Australia v South Korea (11.18)
England v Samoa (11.40)
Argentina v Russia (12.02)
United States v Scotland (12.26)
New Zealand v Japan (12.50)
Fiji v Wales (13.12)
Canada v France (13.34)
South Africa v Kenya (13.56)
Samoa v South Korea (15.18)
England v Australia (15.40)
Scotland v Russia (16.02)
United States v Argentina (16.24)
Wales v Japan (16.48)
Fiji v New Zealand (17.12)
Kenya v France (17.34)
South Africa v Canada (17.56)

Source: @WorldRugby7s

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Korea Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Chile 0 0 0 1 10
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Japan Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens
Hong Kong