HSBC Sevens 2018/2019

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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:48 am

First topic message reminder :

The men's tournament kicks off this weekend in Dubai. This one is key for Olympic qualification in Tokyo, as only the top four teams will be guaranteed automatic qualification. Four years ago, that was Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand and England (i.e. GB). Last year, Australia claimed fourth, with England a point behind in fifth. It will be a major surprise if the other three don't finish in the top 4, so the main fight is likely to be for that final place, with Australia, USA, Argentina, Kenya and Canada among the challengers to keep Team GB out.

There was talk after Rio of combining Wales, Scotland and England into Team GB for the overall Sevens series but that didn't really go anywhere.

England are without one of last season's best players, Ruaridh McConnochie, who signed a contract with Bath. Simon Amor has said the squad is slightly smaller this year but is optimistic about quality. He's got two school players who couldn't get academy contracts, which gives you some idea of how things work in the short code. It's crazy that we have no access to promising academy players.

We've lost Tony Roques from the coaching squad, so James Rodwell and Charlie Hayter have stepped into player-coach roles, with responsibility for coaching Women Sevens too, now that the England Mens and Womens programmes have been combined (the Womens Sevens also has a round in Dubai. It has kicked off already, with England going unbeaten on the first day, managing a surprise win over Australia, and a last-gasp victory over USA)

Simon Amor has said this is the most competitive year for Sevens, with qualification at stake. In the season just before the Olympics, teams tend to switch things around, to try different tactics, or look to keep players fresh.

England's pool in Dubai includes Australia, Canada and Japan, so that's a good chance to measure ourselves, and try to get an early advantage in the qualification race. Wales are in a pool with New Zealand, Spain and USA, while Scotland match up against Fiji, France and Kenya.


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Post by Galted on Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:16 pm

Pie wrote:Wales beat no 1 team in the world

Would’ve been through to the cup quarter-finals if they’d followed it up with a shock win over Spain.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:00 am

Pie wrote:Wales beat no 1 team in the world
And now they have just lost 7-38 to Japan. That might be a unique double in HSBC series history: beating the team at the top of the table and losing to the team at the bottom over the same weekend.

It's infuriating because Wales have some good players. They won the World Cup in 2009, so it's not alien to their rugby DNA. The loss to Japan puts Wales at serious risk of being relegated. Wales and Kenya started the tournament on 18 points, while Japan were bottom on 14. Kenya and Japan are now both guaranteed to get more points than Wales in Hong Kong, so the gap will definitely close, and Wales could even end this round in bottom position.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:24 am

USA have done England a solid by defeating South Africa. The Blizbokke have never won in Hong Kong, so that drought continues.

South Africa can now score no more than 13 points this weekend. If England can now beat Samoa, we are guaranteed at least 15, which will close the nine point gap between us in the oveall table.

There are only four rounds left, however, so 2 points each leg won't do it. We need a big difference, akin to the 10 point damage South Africa did to us last round. First, we have to beat Samoa.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:12 am

So, Ireland are in!

They beat Germany 10-19, and dispatched HK 28-7 in the final.

In other news, England blew their chance to close the gap on South Africa by losing to Samoa. We had a chance to contest the 5th place play-off, but lost to NZ. Both were close games but we've only got three more legs, and South Africa are looking in better shape overall.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:55 pm

Fiji won Hong Kong for the 5th year running, the first team to so (England and Fiji both had four successive HK wins).

England made no ground on South Africa. At least we didn't lose ground but there are only three rounds left. We can no longer rely on South Africa slipping up (unlike England, they have't failed to make the Cup quarter finals once). Instead, we'll need to try and win a title. The odds are against us, I'd say.

It's not as if we'll have an easy run in the European qualifying round. Ireland are a handy unit, Spain have beaten NZ this season, and France claimed second place in Hong Kong. Add in Portugal, Russia, and Germany, and that's some serious competition.

Wales did slip to the relegation spot, behind Japan and Kenya. It would be a great shame if Wales fell out of the top tier. The last two legs are in Europe, which might feel a bit like home advantage, but they are in a precarious position right now.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:53 am

Pool C for Singapore:

USA
England
Kenya
Wales

Almost exactly the same as HK (with Kenya in for Spain). Wales beat USA and troubled England, so you can't take anything for granted here, especially as Wales and Kenya are fighting a relegation battle.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:39 am

Good news for Wales, they just beat one of the two top seeds in the pool, which will give them a chance of qualifying for the Cup, which will greatly help in the fight to avoid relegation.

The bad news is they beat England. Unless Kenya can beat Wales, and England beat the USA (and then only if the points difference is sufficient), England will miss out on the quarter final, which will almost certainly end Team GB's chances at automatic Olympic qualification.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:08 am

So, Wales lost to Kenya, while England have gone 10-0 down to USA so far...

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Post by jimbopip on Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:14 am

has MrsPip been sprinkling hallucinogens on to my all bran again? or have Scotland just beaten Fiji 19-12??? Yahoo

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:29 am

So, England lost 22-7 to USA, but still qualify for the Cup because Kenya and Wales were more inept. Seriously, the games in this pool were full of errors. England would have been knocked out if second place if we lost by more than 26 points, and it wasn't clear we'd get away with it until a scrum ate up almost 30 seconds of the final minute.

Unless we come out a different team tomorrow, we aren't going to make much impact. We are set to meet Australia, who have had a poor series but they beat France and Argentina, so look like they are in better form, just on today's results.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:30 am

jimbopip wrote:has MrsPip been sprinkling hallucinogens on to my all bran again? or have Scotland just beaten Fiji 19-12??? Yahoo
Yup! Final play. Now Scotland need South Africa to beat Fiji, and then get a victory against Canada themselves.


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Post by jimbopip on Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:37 am

Thank you Rugby Fan Hug

Watched it three times now! Doubtless will watch it again. Yahoo

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:36 pm

Sadly, Scotland went down to Canada 10-33, so they'll finish bottom of the pool. Thsi tournament is a microcosm of the season for Scotland and Wales. They can take big scalps but immediately drop matches to lesser opposition, and end up playing for losers medals.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:09 pm

England named Femi Sofolarin as 13th man for Singapore, and he went straight into the squad when Tom Bowen dropped out. He was affiliated with Quins but seems to have signed directly to the England Sevens progamme. His school background seems English but he apparently got capped at U18 level for Scotland.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:40 pm

So, England took bronze in Singapore. Hurrah! That's our equal best finish this season, Trouble is, we need to make up ground on South Africa but they took gold, so they have stretched their lead to 14 points with two rounds left. Boo!

For me, it's over. The most points we've claimed in a round is 17 for 3rd place. We need to beat South Africa by more than seven points in each round, so they would have to get less than 10 points in each round to do that. So far this season, the Blitzbokke have never failed to score at least 10 points.

In short, if we do as well as we've done, and they do as badly, they'll still claim the fourth Olympic qualifying spot.

Certainly, it's still mathematically possible but highly unlikely. Only four teams have won gold medals this year, and they occupy the four qualifying spots. They deserve to qualify, and we don't.

This was a typical England tournament in some respects. we played pants on the first day, and it was only Kenya and Wales failing to capitalize which let us slip through.

We then faced Australia, who are playing worse than us, despite a good day yesterday, and we beat them, which is the best break we got all tournament.

We then had Fiji, and went down 12-0 before grabbing two tries back. We should have been in the lead but it was only 12-12 because we missed a relatively simple conversion. We got our second try during a Fiji yellow card, then looked like we had a third but the TMO decided we'd lost the ball during grounding. Next thing you know, we've shipped two tries and lost 26-12

Our last game was against series leaders USA, and we beat them. Mainly courtesy of a red card (two yellow card offences).

Wales had a bad tournament again but Japan had worse, so Wales moved four points clear of last place.

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Post by Galted on Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:03 pm

England have NZ, Scotland and Ireland in their pool for the London 7s. Could be a tough one.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:22 am

Galted wrote:England have NZ, Scotland and Ireland in their pool for the London 7s. Could be a tough one.
Ireland showed they could be a handful in the European legs last year. I'd prefer them to show that form against NZ than England. The bad news is that South Africa have Argentina, Canada, and Japan in their pool. It's almost inconceivable they won't progress to the Cup quarter final, so they are virtually guaranteed a minimum of 10 points. There's a fair chance they could confirm their Olympic qualifying place this round, if England can't make the Cup quarter finals themselves.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:44 am

RF, why are England now so bad at 7's?

Is it Ryan leaving? Players retiring? We just seem to be terrible now.

Cheers for the updates as always, they make good reading. If depressing.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:41 pm

yappysnap wrote:RF, why are England now so bad at 7's?
The reason we aren't challenging for titles is that we are old and small. We are easily the smallest major side, and even one of the smallest teams overall. We can get outmuscled by other teams. We are also old, when a sevens team should trend young. Dan Norton is 31; Phil Burgess & Charlie Hayter are 30; Tom Mitchell & Mike Ellery are 29; Dan Bibby, Richard de Carpentier, and Ollie Lindsay-Hague are 28.

Bear those ages in mind when you realize Maro Itoje and Ellis Genge are both 24, Sam Underhill is 22, Joe Cokanasiga is 21, and Tom Curry is 20,

The England XV side has brought through young talent but not the England sevens side. As wages have risen in the Premiership, squad sizes have been contracted, and most teams would rather keep everyone available, than send somone off to England sevens.

This means the sevens programme generally picks up Premiership rejects, and that isn't a good enough selection policy these days.  Dan Norton commited to sevens 10 years ao, and the continuity means he has kept improving.

Meanwhile, Mike Ellery got a start in sevens, went back to Saracens, and then came back to the short code. He'd have been better at sevens if he hadn't gone back. If Ollie Lindsay-Hague had played only sevens, he'd probably be regarded as one of the best players in the short code. As it is, he probably started too late.

Since James Rodwell moved on (he's now a coach and occasional back-up sqiad member) we haven't had any athletic back rows or locks in the squad. I'd give anything for a Dallaglio or Sheasby now. Leone Nakarawa is nearly 2m tall, and 110kg. You might not have a player his size in your squad but you need to know you have the ability to take him down.

The reason we are old, is that there is no functioning relationship between Premiership clubs and the England sevens set-up. There should have been players coming through to replace Mitchell, Bibby and Norton but there was a recruitment gap.

Still, we aren't as bad as "bad". We were World Cup silver medallists and Commonwealth Games bronze medallists last year. Team GB also won silver in Rio in 2016.

However, we aren't regularly challenging for titles any more. I still thought we had a chance at qualifying because, outside South Africa, NZ and Fiji, the other top teams were beating each other fairly regularly. What spoiled the party this year was the big improvement in USA, which has squeezed us out of the running.

Essentially, we have a sevens team which can raise it's game for a one-off silver World Cup or bronze Commonwealth medal. A bit like the way we stubbornly found our way to a XVs World Cup final in 2007.

To rectify matter, we need to open the talent pipeline again. Premiership sides shouldn't be as dismissive of the sevens circuit. Marcus Watson, James Davies, Darcy Graham, and Ruaridh McConnochie have shown that confidence in sevens works in the longer code.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:24 pm

If you are interested in Sevens, then Rob Vickerman has a new podcast called The Travelling Circus. You can find it on Apple & Spotify.

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/sean-maloney-the-big-man-with-the-bigger-lines/id1458356921?i=1000434758341

https://open.spotify.com/show/5riJpWuiC5lZABSih6MO4h

So far, he has uploaded interviews with Dan Norton, and commentator Sean Maloney. He has Kurt Baker, Mike Friday, Werner Kok and Lewis Holland already in the can.

Norton was asked the best ever England player he'd played with, and he didn't hesitate to say Isao Damudamu. Vickerman agreed that he could do evertything. Damudamu came through the same army route as Rokodoguni.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat May 25, 2019 12:29 pm

Ireland have just beaten England in the opening pool match. Not a full strength England side (coach Rodwell was playing) but still competitive. Ireland will be a real challenge in Olympic qualifying.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Sat May 25, 2019 1:23 pm

Nice win by Ireland. Seem to do well enough in the events they go to.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat May 25, 2019 3:12 pm

Ireland went down to New Zealand but still have a good chance of going further.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat May 25, 2019 3:40 pm

England beat Scotland, so we still have a chance of qualifying. We'd probably need to beat NZ and hope other results go our way.

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Post by westisbest on Sat May 25, 2019 7:25 pm

Ireland hammered Scotland. Will play Fiji tomorrow. Huge ask.
Ireland have a very good 7’s side, great to see.
Decent day today.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun May 26, 2019 2:25 am

England managed a good win over NZ, which means three teams all finished on two wins and 7 points each. Ireland qualified for the quarters with a +8 points difference over our +4. It's still not mathematically impossible for England to get the 4th Olympic qualifying spot but it probably will be on Sunday. USA, NZ and Fiji are all confirmed qualifiers.

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Post by westisbest on Sun May 26, 2019 1:41 pm

Put up a decent performance against Fiji earlier.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun May 26, 2019 4:48 pm

Why are Scotland playing in fluorescent green?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon May 27, 2019 2:52 am

London turned out to be England's worst performance this season. We lost to Ireland, Samoa and Japan.

Team GB has to qualify through a European round, which will feature France and Ireland, who both finished ahead of us this round (France made it to the semis again). If we can't clear that hurdle, then we have one last shot but the competition will likely include either Samoa or Australia (who also both finished ahead of us this round) as well as the other European rivals who didn't qualify.

England may still finish this season in 5th place, which nominally makes us the best of the rest. but our form has been very inconsistent.

We also have the problem of an unclear future for the sevens programme. We will definitely be competing as England next year but sevens has virtually no access to Premiership, or even Championship players, and the progarmme's ability to sign dedicated contracts is in doubt. Once our experienced players are gone, we have no real pipeline of talent to replace them. This round, we had nether Mitchell or Bibby, and looked well off our usual pace. Take Norton and Burgess out of the picture as well, and England will struggle.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon May 27, 2019 9:15 am

Anyone interested in Sevens should catch Rob Vickerman's Travelling Circus podcast.

https://twitter.com/TravCircus

He's got eight interviews up so far, the most recent with Irish player and budding social media star Harry McNulty.


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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed May 29, 2019 4:48 am

One of the England Sevens sponsors is a firm called Secure Trading. Telegraph says it has gone into administration, with a million pound payment to the RFU still outstanding. Some money may still be recoverable, depending on what status the RFU has as a creditor, but it sounds like another budget hole.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed May 29, 2019 2:40 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Nice win by Ireland. Seem to do well enough in the events they go to.

Nucifora was officially bigging up sevens as a development tool for young players in London, but is that really the case?
Jordan Conroy is certainly very fast but is 25 years old and has no senior Connacht appearances.
Harry McNulty is 26 and again no senior XV caps.
Billy Dardis was 'let-go' by Leinster in 2016 again with zero senior gametime and Mark Roche (26) didn't even make the Leinster books.
Mick McCarthy is 28 and while he has a handful of appearances he has none since 2016, and Shane Layden (26) has a few appearances for Connacht but none since 2015.

Methinks Nucifora is being a tad disingenuous (is that a first?) suggesting that the IRFU's investment in sevens is a development tool for young players.
Nick 'used to play sevens' Timoney can't play for Ulster without it being mentioned in commentary (maybe it's a broadcaster requirement?), but did one short form season really shape his career? Would Robert 'blistering' Baloucoune have been lost to pro-rugby if the IRFU hadn't given him a season in sevens? Supporting a sevens circuit must cost a packet and maybe it's justified to expose the IRFU "Ireland" brand on as many screens as possible, but please David don't tell us something it's not.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed May 29, 2019 4:12 pm

If you are a good rugby player, with a decent shot at having an elite career, then a stint in sevens can be a big help. The sevens circuit gives you experience of big crowds, and the touring lifestyle, while also stress-testing your skills, decision-making and willingness to commit to professional standards.


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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed May 29, 2019 6:03 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:If you are a good rugby player, with a decent shot at having an elite career, then a stint in sevens can be a big help. The sevens circuit gives you experience of big crowds, and the touring lifestyle, while also stress-testing your skills, decision-making and willingness to commit to professional standards.

That's almost exactly what Nucifora said... and I'd ask if your first name was David, but then I know you can't be him because you are a rugby fan!

Each country has it's own player dynamic but if you equate 'elite career' to Test Rugby, how many guys who have lined out for England were changed into elite players by playing sevens? You mention earlier in the thread that there is a disconnect between the Premiership clubs and the sevens team, which indicates that the skill development benefits are overstated. Surely if there was a realisable benefit in skill acquisition then the clubs would be falling over themselves to get their young tyros into the programme?

Ireland haven't been doing it long enough to form any correlation with only Adam Byrne at Leinster having one Test cap and not a whole pile of sevens experience either to suggest any correlation.
Playing for a Premiership or Pro14 team will give players a much truer big crowd experience, rather than the liquorice all-sorts of fancy-dressed social support that neither intimidates nor lifts players on a Sevens weekend.
Not sure the "touring lifestyle" argument holds up either as it's generally played in conditions alien to elite rugby - warm weather, extended weekends in different time zones, and the spreading the 10 events over 7 months (with no home games in between). It is not my intention to dissect the relevance of Sevens rugby to the XV game further, but it is a different game that has it's own niche and entertainment value.

My gripe is with Nucifora trying to justify the IRFU's investment in the game on rugby terms, when it is clear that they are participating simply to get to an Olympics. Ireland were never interested in the short form before the Olympics introduced it, but maybe the kudos of qualification (if they ever make it) will promote the game in Ireland.
The sponsorship difficulties facing the England team may have a lot to do with the Olympics as well - if they can't compete as "England" then they become much harder to market on the very circuit they have to qualify on.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Wed May 29, 2019 8:15 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:If you are a good rugby player, with a decent shot at having an elite career, then a stint in sevens can be a big help. The sevens circuit gives you experience of big crowds, and the touring lifestyle, while also stress-testing your skills, decision-making and willingness to commit to professional standards.

That's almost exactly what Nucifora said... and I'd ask if your first name was David, but then I know you can't be him because you are a rugby fan!

Each country has it's own player dynamic but if you equate 'elite career' to Test Rugby, how many guys who have lined out for England were changed into elite players by playing sevens? You mention earlier in the thread that there is a disconnect between the Premiership clubs and the sevens team, which indicates that the skill development benefits are overstated. Surely if there was a realisable benefit in skill acquisition then the clubs would be falling over themselves to get their young tyros into the programme?

Ireland haven't been doing it long enough to form any correlation with only Adam Byrne at Leinster having one Test cap and not a whole pile of sevens experience either to suggest any correlation.
Playing for a Premiership or Pro14 team will give players a much truer big crowd experience, rather than the liquorice all-sorts of fancy-dressed social support that neither intimidates nor lifts players on a Sevens weekend.
Not sure the "touring lifestyle" argument holds up either as it's generally played in conditions alien to elite rugby - warm weather, extended weekends in different time zones, and the spreading the 10 events over 7 months (with no home games in between). It is not my intention to dissect the relevance of Sevens rugby to the XV game further, but it is a different game that has it's own niche and entertainment value.

My gripe is with Nucifora trying to justify the IRFU's investment in the game on rugby terms, when it is clear that they are participating simply to get to an Olympics. Ireland were never interested in the short form before the Olympics introduced it, but maybe the kudos of qualification (if they ever make it) will promote the game in Ireland.
The sponsorship difficulties facing the England team may have a lot to do with the Olympics as well - if they can't compete as "England" then they become much harder to market on the very circuit they have to qualify on.
One thing it does is keep some players who have been overlooked or dropped by the provinces in the game and gives them another avenue to earn a pro contract. That alone makes it worthwhile for me.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu May 30, 2019 5:59 am

There are some players who can not only play sevens and fifteens at the highest standard, but can switch between them without missing much of a beat. Fiji's Olympic gold medal team included Leone Nakarawa, Josua Tuisova, Semi Kunatani and Viliame Mata, and they all fit into that category.

Truth is, not many teams other than Fiji boast those kinds of players. Even Sonny Bill Williams and Bryan Habana found it hard to switch from XVs back to sevens, despite having the ability to play both.

However, there are a number of players, aside from those Fijians, who started in sevens and have gone on to prove themselves in fifteens. Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Kwagga Smith, Marcus Watson, Ruaridh McConnochie, Darcy Graham and James Davies among them.

I think there are three ways for unions to use the Sevens. Firstly, to take young, promising players, who aren't getting starts for their club, and give them a season or two on the circuit. Secondly, to discover players who have been overlooked but demonstrate the right skills and attitude through playing on the circuit. Thirdly, to broaden the experience of their pool of match officials.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu May 30, 2019 10:44 am

In a rare but welcome move, the England Sevens squad will feature Chris Cook from Bath, and Calum Waters from Quins in Paris this weekend.

Unfortunately, the injury list has grown, so the squad is virtually unrecognizable, with seven players making debuts. If there's a level below scratch team, then this is it. Our captain, Jamie Barden, is 19, and only made his debut last year. I think he might be the youngest captain England have ever named in any senior code of rugby.

If we still had a realistic chance of automatic Olympic qualification, then I don't doubt some of the regular squad players would be turning out.

Ben Harris
Will Glover (Newcastle University)
Api Bavadra (Bishop Burton College)
Femi Sofolarin
James Rodwell
Jamie Barden (c)
Chris Cook (Bath Rugby)
Fergus Guiry (Loughborough University)
Calum Waters (Harlequins)
Max Coyle
George de Cothi (Loughborough University)
Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish)

13th man: Will Hendy (Bath Rugby)

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:21 pm

Could be a difficult weekend for England's callow squad. We have just been spanked 52-14 by Fiji. Ireland and Argentina next up (Argentina beat Ireland in their pool match).

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Post by Galted on Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:30 pm

Quite impressive that Fiji had 8 scorers in a 7s game.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:24 pm

Big shock of the day: Japan beat France. In Paris.

This could be significant, because Japan are at the bottom of the table, and due to be relegated. However, they are only two points behind Kenya, and five behind Wales.

Kenya are in the same pool as Wales, so their match will be significant. Kenya managed a draw against Australia, so a good win against Wales will be a real target. If Japan can beat Scotland, then they will also be on the path to score more points than Wales. The relegation battle could get interesting.

The points for places in a round go, from the bottom, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 5, 7, 8, 10, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 22.

If Japan can qualify for the cup quarters, they are guaranteed 10 points, which is automatically two points more than top score for non-qualifiers, so they could be in a position to leapfrog Kenya and Wales. Wales haven't scored more than 5 points in a round all season, while Kenya's best is 7 points.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:02 pm

Wales just beat Australia, so they aren't rolling over in Paris.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:27 pm

Kenya beat Wales, which means they are on course for the Quarter Finals, and will have a good chance of finishing ahead of Wales in the season's table. Fortunately for Wales, Australia have had a bad tournament and finished bottom of the pool, so Wales are on track to pick up at least five points.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:44 am

So, the relegation battle almost got very interesting. Japan needed to beat Scotland to qualify for the quarter finals. If they had done, then life would have started looking bleak for Wales. As it is, Japan lost 22-21, the slenderest of margins.

It's good news for the competition in one way: France did qualify for the Cup, which means the Paris crowd will be in good spirits.

Wales aren't out of the woods yet. The gap between sixteenth place and ninth place in a tournamnet is more than five points, which is the lead Wales currently has over Japan in the tournament. If Japan can finish 9th or 10th, and Wales only manage 15th or 16th, then Wales could be relegated.

Japan's first hurdle is England, who have proved no hurdle at all for anyone so far. Meanwhile, Wales play Canada. If Wales beat Canada, then they are safe. If not, and Japan beat England & Canada, then Wales will have one last match with everything on the line.

Ireland didn't make it to the quarter finals, which I think might be the first time they have failed to so as an invited side. They have Scotland up next in the Challenge Cup.

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Post by Galted on Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:34 am

Rugby Fan wrote:So, the relegation battle almost got very interesting. Japan needed to beat Scotland to qualify for the quarter finals. If they had done, then life would have started looking bleak for Wales. As it is, Japan lost 22-21, the slenderest of margins.

It's good news for the competition in one way: France did qualify for the Cup, which means the Paris crowd will be in good spirits.

Wales aren't out of the woods yet. The gap between sixteenth place and ninth place in a tournamnet is more than five points, which is the lead Wales currently has over Japan in the tournament. If Japan can finish 9th or 10th, and Wales only manage 15th or 16th, then Wales could be relegated.

Japan's first hurdle is England, who have proved no hurdle at all for anyone so far. Meanwhile, Wales play Canada. If Wales beat Canada, then they are safe. If not, and Japan beat England & Canada, then Wales will have one last match with everything on the line.

Ireland didn't make it to the quarter finals, which I think might be the first time they have failed to so as an invited side. They have Scotland up next in the Challenge Cup.

I was at the London 7s last weekend and the England - Japan game was virtually a no-contest, was hard to believe that Japan are in such difficulty regarding relegation.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:26 am

England suddenly woke up and beat Japan 7-52, which I think dooms them to relegation now, as they can't score five points more than Wales, which was their last hope.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:57 pm

To rub salt in Japan's wounds, they managed to beat Wales but he most they'll get out of this round is three points, while Wales will get one, and that's not a big enough gap to swap places

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Post by westisbest on Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:52 pm

Good win for Ireland against Australia.
Canada in the final.

Disappointed for Kenya against France.

Fiji unstoppable.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:16 pm

Fiji's win over USA gives them this year's overall title.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:12 am

Despite a poor showing in the last two rounds, England finshed 5th in the final table, above Samoa and Australia.

Our best finish in a round was third place, which we did three times. Three teams below us, Samoa, Australia and France all managed to make at least one final during the season, which should worry us.

To qualify Team GB for the Olympics, England need to overcome major contenders France, Ireland, and Spain in the European qualifier. Failing that, we'll end up in the last chance saloon repercharge which we know will feature at least one of Samoa or Australia. We can beat all those teams, but haven't shown any consistency to be confident of doing so when it counts.

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Post by the-goon on Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:03 pm

It's a bit of a farce that at least 2 of France, Ireland, Spain, GB, Samoa, Australia won't qualify for the Olympics, but a team as poor as Hong Kong will because Asia have no decent teams, and Japan already qualify as hosts.

Also, why is this a 12 team tournament? 16 is far cleaner.

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