Update on Olympic Sevens Qualification.

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Update on Olympic Sevens Qualification. Empty Update on Olympic Sevens Qualification.

Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 1:50 pm

There were four automatic qualifying places in this season's HSBC Sevens series, with USA, Fiji, South Africa and NZ filling them. Japan qualify automatically as hosts, so there are seven other slots to fill.

The European qualifiers are on this weekend, and only the winner is guaranteed to go to Tokyo. The pool rounds and quarter-finals are over, leaving this semi-final line-up

France vs Ireland
Portugal vs England

No real shock to see that line-up, although Spain, Germany and Russia could all have caused an upset. The 2nd and 3rd place teams will have a final chance to go to the Olympics with a winner-takes-all reparchage, but this is probably the best chance all the sides have got to claim a place. We'll know the semi-final results shortly.

England womens sevens had a bad season in the regular series but they are also playing for qualification. They meet Russia just after 4:00pm (BST)


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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 2:09 pm

Men's matches can be seen here, legally:

France leading Ireland 12-7 at half time

https://www.rugbyeurope.eu/rugby-europe-mens-sevens-olympic-qualifier

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 2:23 pm

France through 19-12.

Nearly a riot at the end of that match. France had the ball and the clock counted down to zero in the stadium, and on screen. France kicked the ball out to celebrate the win but the referee confirmed that the hooter only sounded after the ball was out, so played the lineout. Turns out the stadium clock and timekeeper weren't in synch. Ireland had one last chance to level the match but France held them out.


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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 2:48 pm

England have beaten Portugal 12-29

Some unfamilar names in our team there. Will Muir doesn't even have a photo with his profile on the RFU website. Not sure if that's through injuries (for instance, Dan Bibby isn't playing) or form. We'll see with the final line-up whether Simon Armor has held players back or not. France have a slight advantage, having played their semi-final earlier, so it's possible Armor took a risk against Portugual, who ought to be weaker opposition.

Ireland play Portugal for the right to have another bite at the cherry, in the final Olympic reperchage later this year, at 16:46 BST

France and England face-off for the Olympic qualifying spot at 17:11 BST

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 3:25 pm

0-0 at half time for England Woman against Russia.

Aside from Heather Fisher, I'm not really sure who is in our team, given the Red Roses are playing in the Super Series.

Russia are no mugs, so far.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 3:33 pm

England women beat Russia 19-0.

Team GB Women are going to the Olympics next year. Mostly, that will be players from England but there was a Welsh player in the Rio Squad in 2016.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 5:12 pm

Ireland beat Portugal 26-12. so they will have another chance to qualify for the Olympics in the final reperchage. Portugal are out of contention.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 5:39 pm

Team GB men are also going to the Olympics!

England beat France 7-31. All in all, this was a much more comfortable series of matches than I had expected. We were lucky with the draw, as we didn't face Ireland or France until the final, and they were always the main threats. We also managed to miss Spain, who showed, during a draw with Ireland, they could be a tricky customer.

Ultimately, France couldn't deliver in front of a home crowd, and Engand were never really under pressure during the match.

France and Ireland will have to regroup and see if they can get a place via the final reparchage, which will include one of Australia or Samoa.

I'm watching the Rugby Europe feed, which has no commentary. That's good, because you can hear the players swearing like troopers, and no-one has been apologizing for it.

This has also given me something to take my mind off the cricket.

Here was our squad:

Jamie Barden
Phil Burgess
Richard de Carpentier
Will Edwards
Mike Ellery
Harry Glover
Ben Harris
Charlton Kerr
Ollie Lindsay-Hague
Tom Mitchell - captain
Will Muir
Dan Norton

Tom Bowen and Dan Bibby were missing from England's regular starting squad.

Incidentally, Lindsay-Hague scored an intercept try which, for me, highlights a problem with the deliberate knock-on sanctions. He stuck out an arm towards a pass from a French player, with no real chance of catching the ball in that action, but it stayed in the air long enough for him to use his speed to collect it before it touched the ground. It was a lottery where the ball would go when he made contact. It could have gone out of his reach, and he might have received a yellow card. And yet it was instinctive on his part. It was close enough he had a chance, and that's why he went for it. I dislike seeing players penalized for having a go.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 10:40 am

One more indication that the whole Team GB rugby sevens set-up is still a mess: the Scottish Rugby Union has still not posted any news that we have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

That would make some sense if SRU social media feed generally didn't cover sevens, but they have a couple of tweets up with details of the Scotland Women 7s squad for the Grand Prix in Ukraine this weekend.

By contrast, the WRU posted the news on its website.

It isn't a snub. It's just another example of how there is no joined-up thinking. The SRU has the same stake in Team GB sevens as the RFU and WRU but no-one thought to keep track, and update progress over the summer.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 20 Jul 2019, 1:03 am

I know this is a niche interest but there's a good article here about how we qualified, with comments from Simon Armor.

http://www.talkingrugbyunion.co.uk/olympic-qualifiers-colomiers-after-the-final-whistle/23240.htm

A key player last weekend was Dan Norton, and it transpires we nearly didn't have him, because he almost had to skip the tournament to attend the birth of his second child. In the final match against France, Harry Glover dislocated his shoulder but put it back, and made another tackle before being substituted.

Armor concedes that he rested players in the last rounds of the regular season. That means he gave up on the chance of automatic top 4 qualification before it was a mathematical impossibility, and focused on having his squad better prepared for this tournament. It short-changed England fans, because the last two rounds of the HSBC series were the closest to home, and we played abysmally. However, it did achieve the goal of Olympic qualification.

Ben Ryan admitted he was surprised England won so comfortably. When you look at the players we fielded, it is even more remarkable, as we were relying on a number who were effectively student back-ups.

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Post by robbo277 on Sun 21 Jul 2019, 5:16 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Incidentally, Lindsay-Hague scored an intercept try which, for me, highlights a problem with the deliberate knock-on sanctions. He stuck out an arm towards a pass from a French player, with no real chance of catching the ball in that action, but it stayed in the air long enough for him to use his speed to collect it before it touched the ground.  It was a lottery where the ball would go when he made contact. It could have gone out of his reach, and he might have received a yellow card. And yet it was instinctive on his part. It was close enough he had a chance, and that's why he went for it. I dislike seeing players penalized for having a go.

Good info on the 7s in general, but I'll respond to this point.

I have no issue when there is an issue, and probably prefer that there is a real element of jeopardy. It's the same (although not as severe) with making an outside break in the 5m channel vs cutting in and taking a tackle. Get it right and you're probably in for a try, get it wrong and you're probably turning over possession by running into touch.

It's a fine line between legitimate attempt at the ball and a spoiling play. Rather than make the referee make a judgement on intention and whether the player had a realistic chance, it's much simpler to go on outcome focus. If you stick your hand out and don't catch it you're taking a risk, so it encourages positive interception attempts.

That being said, I think the rule of thumb is if you hit it up you had a chance, if you hit it down you had no chance. Hitting it down is an automatic yellow card, hitting it up allows more judgement.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 22 Jul 2019, 10:25 am

I was hoping the RFU would post match highlights, but they didn't. The best I can do is give you a link to Day 2 footage.

https://www.rugbyeurope.eu/2019-men-7s-olympic-qualifier-m34-france-vs-england

If anyone can be bothered scrolling to the 1:26:40 second mark, then you'll see the play.

I can be quite the hypocrite on this matter, Kurtley Beale regularly stabs his hand out in the same manner, and I can't recall feelling sorry for him when he has received a yellow because he couldnt recollect the ball.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 22 Jul 2019, 11:30 am

To be fair to OLH, he looked like he knew what he was doing - the ball gains enough upward momentum to stop it falling immediately and he only needs a step or two to gather it.

He may have taken a risk, knowing he was potentially on for a penalty or a yellow if he couldn't gather, but there's a world of difference to someone just sticking a hand out to block a pass.
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