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2015-2016 HSBC Sevens

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kingelderfield
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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:38 am

Well it's the Olympics next year, and we are likely to see some big names competing on the sevens circuit this time, so we may as well have a thread. Dubai is well under way already.

http://www.worldrugby.org/sevens-series

Oh, USA beat New Zealand in the pool, and then went on to beat South Africa in the quarter final. They play England in the semi final. New Zealand will face Fiji in the other semi final.

http://www.worldrugby.org/sevens-series/stage/1611/fixtures#nearestMatch

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:14 am

https://twitter.com/WorldRugby7s/status/673068001344679936

Great offloading by Fiji.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:04 pm

Fiji, coached by an Englishman, have just beaten New Zealand 19-5 in the first semi-final. The next semi-final between USA and England features two more English coaches.

We can't buy a trick in the 15 man code, but English coaches are having a good run in sevens right now.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:29 pm

England beat USA in an exciting final.

USA went 12-0 up but England tied the game with two quick scores at the end of the first half. USA went ahead again but England drew level with a minute to go. Both sides had possession after the clock had run down but it was England who found a way through.

Fiji look a tough proposition in the final


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Post by LondonTiger Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:31 pm

England sneak past USA to meet Fiji in final.


Russia made the women's final. Wonder if they have been part of the same state sponsored drug schemes that saw the russian Athletics Federation banned.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:34 pm

I've always wondered why Russia are getting hammered by these drug scheme claims when it's clearly a world wide epidemic. Focusing on one organisation is certainly not going to help the situation.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:39 pm

Pio Tuwai is the best sevens player I've ever seen. Ive always thought he could make it in the 15's game.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:46 pm

USA beat NZ again in the third place play-off.

NZ were down to only eight fit men for the match, and their bench player was touch and go, so it was a much more comfortable win.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:03 pm

England took an early lead but Fiji have scored four tries in quick succession in the first half to make it 28-7. It will be some comeback if England can win this final.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:22 pm

England got two tries back but never really troubled Fiji, who won 28-17.

It seems like there were quite a few injuries across the teams in the tournament, which isn't a good sign given that this is only the opening round.

Top three teams were coached by Englishman. Don't think that can ever have happened before in any international sporting event.

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Post by yappysnap Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:07 pm

Is there any history of 7's coaches transitioning to the 15 man game?

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Post by The Great Aukster Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:43 pm

Sevens coaching is fairly straightforward - "give to the speedster".

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:18 am

yappysnap wrote:Is there any history of 7's coaches transitioning to the 15 man game?
Joe Lydon went from England Sevens coach to backs coach for the national side. He then had player development roles with the WRU and RFU and is currently managing the Team GB sevens effort.

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Post by The Great Aukster Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:28 am

Wasn't Lydon given the boot because he wasn't any good?

There is no obvious 'game plan' in sevens because there is neither the time nor the structure to execute it. In fact the best sevens players seem to be the ones that make their own decisions on the pitch. Maybe the team talk should be revised to "play what's in front of you and give it to the speedster".

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:28 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:...There is no obvious 'game plan' in sevens because there is neither the time nor the structure to execute it...
That hasn't been the case for a while now. Probably the most important job for a coach is telling players what to do when they haven't got the ball, since defensive lapses frequently lead to scores. The level of organization in the best sevens sides is way ahead of what it use to be.

There used to be an idea that sevens was a training ground for players and coaches. I think one reason good sevens coaches don't go on to the fifteen code is partly because there are now decent careers to be had running international sevens teams.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:21 pm

New Zealand looking a bit off the boil this season. They have just lost to Canada in the pool stages, after being run close by France. Shouldn't stop them qualifying for the Cup, which they could still go on to win, but these are games they have usually won without breaking sweat.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:42 pm

Kenya, who held England to a draw in their pool opener, have just beaten South Africa. They will almost certainly beat Zimbabwe, and take one of the qualifying spots.

The loser of the day's final match between England and South Africa will therefore not qualify for the Cup. Given that this leg is taking place in Cape Town, there'll be a lot at stake.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:51 pm

The hosts nilled England in their match, so they qualified along with Kenya from the pool.

Australia topped their pool after managing an injury time try against the US, who again look a match for anyone.

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Post by whocares Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:26 pm

So far in this 7s tour there is Fiji and the rest. In the chasing pack almost they can almost all beat each other's. I suspect NZ team will look very different in Rio...

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Post by blackcanelion Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:39 pm

The NZ team has massive injury issues this year. Even without the injury problems, they could still have had issues. Things are looking pretty bleak for the short term.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:40 am

whocares wrote:So far in this 7s tour there is Fiji and the rest...
I completely agreed with this when I read it, and yet Fiji have just been knocked out of the Cup in the quarter final by France. That's both finalists from Dubai out of contention for this weekend's title.

France ran NZ close, so something may be starting to click for them.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:26 am

Argentina have just knocked out New Zealand in their quarter final match.

It was a tight affair. Argentina held a 14-5 half time lead but NZ got it back to 19-19 by full time. They really ought to have won, because Argentina were down to six men for the final two minutes.

In extra time, New Zealand went down to six, after a reckless tackle saw one of their players shown a red card. It still took Argentina time to turn that advantage into a win, finally settling for a drop goal.

New Zealand have had more injuries, and it would not have helped their cause to play so many minutes of extra time.

With Fiji and Australia ought of the Cup, South Africa will be hoping they can now take the title on home turf.

Kenya are currently leading USA in the last quarter final.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:45 am

Kenya beat USA and will face Argentina in one semi final. France face the hosts South Africa in the other.

Those three English coaches who did so well in Dubai have watched their teams struggle in Cape Town.

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Post by whocares Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:25 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
whocares wrote:So far in this 7s tour there is Fiji and the rest...
I completely agreed with this when I read it, and yet Fiji have just been knocked out of the Cup in the quarter final by France. That's both finalists from Dubai out of contention for this weekend's title.

France ran NZ close, so something may be starting to click for them.

I don't know. It's the same group of players we had last year so maybe just good work finally paying off. To see both Argentina and France in a cup semi is something no one could really expect a year ago.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:43 pm

New Zealand beaten by USA in the plate semi final.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:25 pm

South Africa will meet Argentina in the Cup final.

Kenya almost sent their match into extra time with a late try, but the conversion to draw level hit the post from wide out.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:09 pm

South Africa took the title in Cape Town.

The last turn-up result was England going down 19-0 to Scotland, which capped a poor tournament for Amor's team.

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Post by rainbow-warrior Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:07 am

USA will be the force to reckon with in Rio.
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Post by TBJ9625 Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:33 am

the USA have been steadily improving over the last 3 years on the 7s circuit. Looks like they are peaking at the right time. Currently 3rd in the standings, their defense is a lot better organised this series. They have had some consistency in their squad now too. Test is a great player, I think he could make any 7s squad
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Post by blackcanelion Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:24 am

I don't think it's just the USA. although they're the big climbers. A quick look at many of the "minor" teams has seen improvement since 2010-11 season. I think it's really good for rugby as a whole (including 15's). Everytime a team can bridge the gap and be competitive is good for the game. As a Kiwi we may struggle to even medal. I think the same goes for all the main teams, which I think is a good thing (I'm talking about the uncertainty)

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Post by rainbow-warrior Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:29 am

blackcanelion wrote:I don't think it's just the USA. although they're the big climbers. A quick look at many of the "minor" teams has seen improvement since 2010-11 season. I think it's really good for rugby as a whole (including 15's). Everytime a team can bridge the gap and be competitive is good for the game. As a Kiwi we may struggle to even medal. I think the same goes for all the main teams, which I think is a good thing (I'm talking about the uncertainty)

But NZ has already said they are going to load their 7's with 15 players. Things medals do to people eh!
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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:00 am

rainbow-warrior wrote:
blackcanelion wrote:I don't think it's just the USA. although they're the big climbers. A quick look at many of the "minor" teams has seen improvement since 2010-11 season. I think it's really good for rugby as a whole (including 15's). Everytime a team can bridge the gap and be competitive is good for the game. As a Kiwi we may struggle to even medal. I think the same goes for all the main teams, which I think is a good thing (I'm talking about the uncertainty)

But NZ has already said they are going to load their 7's with 15 players.  Things medals do to people eh!
They are expected to play some games in this years series, so we'll so how things go when they turn up.

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Post by blackcanelion Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:29 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
rainbow-warrior wrote:
blackcanelion wrote:I don't think it's just the USA. although they're the big climbers. A quick look at many of the "minor" teams has seen improvement since 2010-11 season. I think it's really good for rugby as a whole (including 15's). Everytime a team can bridge the gap and be competitive is good for the game. As a Kiwi we may struggle to even medal. I think the same goes for all the main teams, which I think is a good thing (I'm talking about the uncertainty)

But NZ has already said they are going to load their 7's with 15 players.  Things medals do to people eh!
They are expected to play some games in this years series, so we'll so how things go when they turn up.

I'm not entirely sure it works that way anymore. 7's is it's own game, with it's own tactics, skills and physical requirements. I think it will take time to adapt. I think it's more a case of taking on a few key personnel that can make a difference to Tietjins game plan. The number may actually depend more on the nature and number of the injuries in the current squad (many).

The squad named in August included:
Dylan Collier (Waikato)
Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty)
Sam Dickson (Canterbury)
DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau)
Gillies Kaka (Hawke's Bay)
Akira Ioane (Auckland)*
Rieko Ioane (Auckland)
Ben Lam (Auckland)*
Liam Messam (Waikato)*
Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)
Ardie Savea (Wellington)*
Sherwin Stowers (Counties Manukau)
Sam Vaka (Counties Manukau)
Beaudein Waaka (Taranaki)
Joe Webber (Waikato)
Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau)*

* players I think are coming over from 15's (most have played 7's previously), I don't think any of these have played in the last 2 tournaments.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:02 am

Just a quick question, do any of the New Zealand 7s players play 15s at any level throughout the year? I am interested because, as you said, 7s is really its own game and are wondering the level to which players are specialising in one over the other.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:19 am

doctor_grey wrote:Just a quick question, do any of the New Zealand 7s players play 15s at any level throughout the year?  I am interested because, as you said, 7s is really its own game and are wondering the level to which players are specialising in one over the other.  
Most played at least some 15 a side until a couple of years ago, when NZ offered full time sevens contracts to their key players.

With the players' collective contract agreement just settled after prolonged talks between the New Zealand Rugby Union and the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association, the way now appears clear for up to 15 men's sevens players to be given the long-promised fulltime contracts of between $90,000 and $100,000.

The idea is to enable them to be able to concentrate fulltime on sevens leading up to the Rio Olympics in 2016 without having to supplement their income playing 15s.

Mikkelson is now one of the most elite in the Kiwi sevens set-up, leading New Zealand to another overall victory in the IRB world series this year, winning the IRB Sevens Player of the Year Award and then helping New Zealand to win the Sevens World Cup in Moscow, which in turn saw him named player of the tournament.

Described by coach Gordon Tietjens as his fittest player, Mikkelson will thus be one of the first in line to be offered a fulltime contract and end his days of 15-a-side rugby, having made 54 appearances for Waikato and scored 90 points since his debut in 2008.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/provincial/9043258/Mooloos-set-to-lose-Tim-Mikkelson-to-sevens

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:00 pm

When I last asked a Kiwi about their sevens players, they had told me that their guys are made up of provincial players and some U20 players. Most of them would only be on the fringes of their provincial team, and I remember guys like Forbes featuring, so did Mikkelson in a cup final. For most who come into sevens it is a way to push for a S15 contract is also what I was told.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:05 pm

Recent All Blacks that went down the Sevens route are Liam Messam and Hosea Gear. I see Messam will be back in the squad for the Olympics, along with showboat Williams - great sportsmen but I'm really starting to understand the dislike for this guy.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:27 pm


There have been heaps of All Blacks Besides Messam and Gear who have played sevens, just some from the last ten years that have represented both variations in the Black jersey.

Rodney So'olialo
Renee Ranger
Israel dagg
Zac Guilford
Charles Piutau
Joe Rokocoko
Ben Smith
Corey Jane

Jerome Kaino definitely played sevens for Auckland, I cant recall if he played for New Zealand.

And there are other examples like Tim Nanai Williams who played sevens for New Zealand and 15s for Samoa.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:15 am

England beat USA 19-5, which is a good win against a side which has been a dangerous opponent in this series.

It's striking that the pools are no longer clearly a top side, a good side and two also-rans, as they were only a few years ago. England are pitched against USA, Samoa and France in this round. On their day, any of those teams could top the group.


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Post by aucklandlaurie Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:31 pm


Games today:
Scotland v Portugal.
New Zealand v Kenya.
Fiji v USA.
England v Argentina.
Australia v SA.
France v Japan.
Canada v Russia.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:32 pm


and Wales v Samoa.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:48 pm


Scotland 29...Portugal 12.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:17 pm


Japan 19...France 14.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:02 am

aucklandlaurie wrote:
Japan 19...France 14.
I was reading somewhere that Japan was so hit by injuries, they were on the verge of calling local restaurants to see if there were any chefs or waiters who fancied a game.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:04 am

Samoa 29...Wales 24.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:05 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
aucklandlaurie wrote:
Japan 19...France 14.
I was reading somewhere that Japan was so hit by injuries, they were on the verge of calling local restaurants to see if there were any chefs or waiters who fancied a game.

Yes thats what Willie Lose said.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:17 am

I heard that they imposed a drinking ban on this tournament and its has had a very negative effect on attendances. Is this true?

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:27 am


thats true Lester, theyve only got a couple of thousand in the stadium.

Meanwhile, All Blacks 36...Kenya Nil.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:46 am


England 33...Argentina 7.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:03 am

England against NZ could be tasty. NZ have stuttered on occasion this season but look good in Wellington.

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