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HSBC Sevens 2019-2020 Season

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 1:15 pm

First round in Dubai.

The Cup Semi-finals were England vs New Zealand and South Africa vs Samoa, with New Zealand and South Africa coming out on top. England will be disappointed not to have taken their chances but this is a better start to the season than last year. We did lose to South Africa in the pool but a victory over France in the quarter finals means we pick up useful points.

NZ did beat USA comfortably, so we did well to come close with a team featuring a number of inexperienced players.

Ireland had a rude debut on the circuit, losing to USA and Australia. Argentina beat Fiji in the pool, and the way those matches went meant Fiji didn't make the quarter finals, which is a rare event. Samoa beat Australia in the quarter finals, which is a small amount of revenge after losing to them in the Olympic qualifier.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 2:26 pm

Bronze for England after a win over Samoa. That's a good result in Dubai.

South Africa took the title with a win over NZ in the final. Canada ran NZ close in the women's final but lost in the end.

Ireland had a rough tournament but Jordan Conroy impressed to such a degree, he made the team of the tournament. Dan Bibby from England was also selected, along with 2 All Blacks, a Samoan, an Australian, and a Blitzbokke.

I said earlier that Fiji rarely miss out on the quarter final stage. It turns out, they have never before missed out, so we broke new ground this weekend.


Last edited by Rugby Fan on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 4:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Taylorman on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 3:55 pm

Yes Bokke take the final after a tense effort by both sides, blow out in the last minutes 15-0. Not bad for a lot of newbies in the NZ side this year. Too good this round SA.

Our women’s side did manage to win despite losing to France in pool. Not a bad start. Olympic year coming up.

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Post by westisbest on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 4:24 pm

Yeah not a great weekend for Ireland. Highlight the win against Scotland and Conroy’s 5 tries.

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Post by SecretFly on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 10:06 pm

westisbest wrote:Yeah not a great weekend for Ireland. Highlight the win against Scotland and Conroy’s 5 tries.

We is only toddlers at the game, west; getting the blunt lessons in what is required. Sometimes that's the best education.

....oh and we're going to win the next 15s World Cup! Yahoo

....that was for Taylor. Cool Hug

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 12:55 am

SecretFly wrote:
westisbest wrote:Yeah not a great weekend for Ireland. Highlight the win against Scotland and Conroy’s 5 tries.

We is only toddlers at the game, west; getting the blunt lessons in what is required.  Sometimes that's the best education.

....oh and we're going to win the next 15s World Cup! Yahoo

....that was for Taylor. Cool Hug

Ireland should be measuring themselves against Samoa and France in particular, as those two teams will be the strongest competition in the final Olympic qualifier in June next year.

Just noticed Ruaridh McConnochie has ruled out trying to make the Olympic sevens squad. Joe Simpson came close to making a switch for Rio but injury ruled him out. It does seem as if there's less time next year for Premiership players to give it a shot, so it would be a surprise if any managed.

‘If there was more time between our season and the Olympics I’d be saying that I’d love a shot,’ said the 28-year-old. ‘But it’s six weeks from the end of our season, and three weeks post-season before they would have to select a side. I get on with the coach Simon Amor really well and we spoke about it a while ago. It would be far too hard. It’s only been two years since I left Sevens and the game will have changed massively.

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Post by Taylorman on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 2:02 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
westisbest wrote:Yeah not a great weekend for Ireland. Highlight the win against Scotland and Conroy’s 5 tries.

We is only toddlers at the game, west; getting the blunt lessons in what is required.  Sometimes that's the best education.

....oh and we're going to win the next 15s World Cup! Yahoo

....that was for Taylor. Cool Hug

Ireland should be measuring themselves against Samoa and France in particular, as those two teams will be the strongest competition in the final Olympic qualifier in June next year.

Just noticed Ruaridh McConnochie has ruled out trying to make the Olympic sevens squad. Joe Simpson came close to making a switch for Rio but injury ruled him out. It does seem as if there's less time next year for Premiership players to give it a shot, so it would be a surprise if any managed.

‘If there was more time between our season and the Olympics I’d be saying that I’d love a shot,’ said the 28-year-old. ‘But it’s six weeks from the end of our season, and three weeks post-season before they would have to select a side. I get on with the coach Simon Amor really well and we spoke about it a while ago. It would be far too hard. It’s only been two years since I left Sevens and the game will have changed massively.
Make it a goal and you will fly:-)

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 09 Dec 2019, 11:18 pm

Sean McMahon will try and make the Wallabies Olympic sevens squad. He's based in Japan but will double up by playing some legs on the circuit. The Top League season finishes in May, so he'll have two months to have a crack at selection. Tim Walsh apparently has an eye on Samu Kerevi as well.

Walsh conceded his strategic cherry-picking could be perceived as a threat by some squad members but didn't think that was a bad thing. "In reality it’s about competition and making the program better," he said ahead of the squad's departure for Dubai. "We are talking about a couple of players who are world class players and proven, in McMahon’s case, in both sevens and fifteens. I am not going to talk to 15 players and bring them in and play. It’s adding one or two players that can possibly add some real value to our campaign and not disrupt … our cohesion and combinations. The who, how and why are strategic."

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/mcmahon-launches-sevens-bid-to-make-tokyo-olympics-20191208-p53hwo.html



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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 11 Dec 2019, 5:28 am

Will Greenwood's podcast last week featured an interview with Mike Friday, who is always worth a listen.Having worked with England, Kenya and USA, he knows as much as anyone about where the short code stands in the world.

https://play.acast.com/s/skysportsrugbyworldcup

Some takeaways:

- The HSBC circuit is thinking of cutting matches, in line with the format seen at the last Sevens World Cup. Broadcasters like the idea of more meaningful matches but the all-or-nothing format isn't necessarily best suited to a short code, where one capricious refereeing decision can have an outsized impact.

- Friday thinks sevens is key to opening up the US market. XVs won't give US any short term success, and the new professional league could easily be a bust if the owners pull in different directions. NBC only got involved with broadcasting rugby because it had become an Olympic event, so there's a lot riding on the US showing up well in Tokyo (they didn't in Rio, going out early on points difference)

- Power is more important in sevens, which makes it is harder for the average 18 year old to make an impact at elite level. This is a challenge for England's sevens programme. In Friday's England time, it was common for sevens to be a pathway to international XVs but it hasn't been for some years. Premiership clubs no longer release players for sevens, so England trawled universities for talent. That age group is probably not up to it now. Friday thinks Premiership clubs greatly underestimate the benefits of a year on the circuit in developing players.

- Friday would like to see Team GB compete on the circuit instead of England, Wales & Scotland. He believes a well-run Team GB outfit would be an example to other unions, and turn the sevens circuit into something like a rugby version of Formula One.



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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 8:39 am

In the opening pool matches, Ireland beat Australia, and Scotland beat England. If Scotland can manage a win over France, then that should be enough for a quarter final. England need to win their next two matches, and hope for the best.

Ireland have Kenya & Samoa next, with Kenya already having beaten Samoa, so it's an open group right now.

Fiji responded to missing out on the quarter finals last week by beating USA. South Africa are also in that group, so a big name will miss out on the Cup this week too, and USA are most at risk right now.

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Post by Galted on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 9:58 am

Rugby Fan wrote:

Fiji responded to missing out on the quarter finals last week by beating USA. South Africa are also in that group, so a big name will miss out on the Cup this week too, and USA are most at risk right now.

Lol, not much of a reward for SA winning last week's tournament to be drawn against last season's top 2 in their own home tournament.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 11:48 am

Ireland best Samoa, so they will make the quarter finals for the first time as a regular member. Australia lost to Kenya, so this has been a bad tournament for them.

England beat Spain, so will now need to beat France to have a chance of going through. Even if we get that result, Scotland can still deny us a quarter final place with a big win over Spain.

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Post by westisbest on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 12:43 pm

Ireland Kenya later should be a good game.
Good to see both sides doing well.

Hopefully Ireland get the win. Looking forward to it.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 4:49 pm

England crushed by France so we've blown the chance for good points in Cape Town. We had a favourable pool draw too, and they don't come around too often nowadays.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 12:26 pm

Ireland gave Fiji a run for their money, until the champions finally blew them away in the last two minutes.

South Africa play France in one semi-final, while NZ will meet Fiji in the other.

It says something about the growing depth in Sevens that Australia, USA, England and Samoa all failed to make the last eight in Cape Town. England and USA will play later to see who finishes 9th and 10th.

A further consequence is that one pool in the next round could easily be a nightmare

Top seeds: Fiji, NZ, South Africa France
2nd seeds: Ireland, Kenya, Argentina, Scotland
3rd seeds: England, USA, Australia, Canada
4th seeds: Wales, Japan, Samoa, Spain

You could easily get South Africa, Ireland, England & Samoa all drawn together.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 5:17 pm

Rotten tournament for Wales. The loss to Japan means they finished last. If they carry on in this vein, then there's a real risk Wales will lose status as a core team. Quite something for a side which was once Sevens World Champion.

France beat Fiji for third place, and the first half of the final between SA and NZ has just ended 0-0, which you don't often see in Sevens.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 5:28 pm

NZ silenced a big local crowd with a 7-5 win over South Africa.

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Post by Taylorman on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 7:11 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Rotten tournament for Wales. The loss to Japan means they finished last. If they carry on in this vein, then there's a real risk Wales will lose status as a core team. Quite something for a side which was once Sevens World Champion.

France beat Fiji for third place, and the first half of the final between SA and NZ has just ended 0-0, which you don't often see in Sevens.

Illustrates the changing fortunes of this game. One can go from champs to chumps fairly k

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Post by Taylorman on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 8:44 pm

NZ double this time, who knows next round...

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Post by Old Man on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 8:58 pm

That missed conversion was always going to be an issue, Bltizboks have missed 4/4 conversions in the two finals so far this season.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 10:45 am

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/the-new-zealand-sevens-team-just-cant-resist-getting-naked-in-front-of-one-another

I would not want a blokes tackle resting against the back of my head.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 1:13 pm

Is that because it is a high tackle?

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Post by Galted on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 3:36 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Is that because it is a high tackle?

clap clap
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 9:58 pm

New neck massage method? Hmmm...I'll stick with the balls in the massage chairs. Whistle

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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 10 Jan 2020, 7:20 pm

There's still a lot of unhappiness about the format changes World Rugby will impose on the next two rounds (and, possibly, the rest of the season - it's not clear to me).

World Rugby has looked to combine the mens and womens series. They will run alongside each other in NZ and Australia but, with only two days of play available, there isn't enough time to run the usual schedule.

Instead, there will now be no quarter finals in the men's competition. The four Pool winners will play two semi-finals, and the other 12 sides will play just one more match each.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/sevens/118429530/rebellion-threat-as-world-rugby-changes-sevens-format

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 2:45 pm

Mixed reactions to the radical format change. Actually worked for England in Hamilton, as we topped our group, which put us straight into a semi-final. The crucial match was beating South Africa 19-21 in the pool. South Africa then lost 14-36 to Kenya, which makes me wonder if the format change led them to mix up their line-up, as they knew a semi-final place was beyond them after the England loss. South Africa finished 10th in Hamilton, which is easily one of their worst ever placings in recent years.

On the face of it, we had the easier semi-final against France but they are no mugs, and beat is 5-10. France must be kicking themselves they coudn't beat us in the Olympic qualifier. The other semi-final was NZ vs Aus, and NZ went on to win their home round.

The format also led to Fiji having a poor tournament, with a 9th place finish. Ireland didn't thrive either, losing to Scotland in their last match to leave them 12th. Wales came last in Hamilton, losing all four matches. They scored no points in two of them, and only one try in another. They put up a better fight against Scotland, going down 24-19, but they are sitting in relegation position after three rounds. Unless they turn it round, they could lose their place on the circuit.

Here's a report on the tournament:

World Rugby has defended its decision to overhaul the New Zealand and Sydney Sevens schedules midway through a crucial Olympic year. Players and coaches were left gobsmacked and infuriated when World Rugby Sevens Series organisers sprung the cut-throat format change on them during the Cape Town Sevens late last year, sparking talk of taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The modifications saw the quarterfinals dropped in the men's and women's tournaments, shortening the tournaments in Hamilton and Sydney to two days and leaving the four group winners to advance directly to the semi-finals in the men's series, and the three group winners plus the next-best team advance in the women's series.

The main flashpoint is that the change, described as "extremely interesting" by Australian captain Sharni Williams last week, was implemented after the 2020 World Series was underway, giving nations no warning of changes that will affect Olympic seedings. The pool draw for Tokyo will be based on the final standings of the 2020 World Series.

Australia's mens and womens teams managed to adjust and make it through to the semi-finals in New Zealand on Sunday, but both fell to their opponents and settled for third and fourth place respectively. A bronze was the Aussie men's best finish so far this season.

The issue looms again this week ahead of the Sydney Sevens as other teams count the cost of the change. The loss of the final eight stage effectively rubs out a second chance for the four next-best in the pool rounds. It is also in place for these two tournaments only, moving the goalposts – and altering team's strategies – in the middle of the season.

In a written response to inquiries from the Herald, World Rugby put the spotlight back on the host nations New Zealand and Australia, who tendered to host the tournaments as two-day events. The Sydney Sevens has been a combined men's and women's event for the past three years but this was the women's first invitation to Hamilton.

"Hamilton and Sydney tendered to be included in the series on the basis of hosting two-day combined events and the match schedule has been developed with player welfare front of mind and following consultation with participating unions, host unions and International Rugby Players [union]," a spokesperson said.

"Taking into consideration that a two-day event was the preference for both Hamilton and Sydney host unions, World Rugby made the decision to remove the quarter-finals for both men and women. This is to ensure that the length of tournament days does not exceed what is acceptable from a player welfare and operational delivery perspective, as well as ensuring parity across both men’s and women’s competitions in terms of the number of games played."

The Dubai and Cape Town Sevens tournaments are also combined events but both are played over three days. Rugby Australia has battled to attract a crowd on the first day of competition, which has traditionally been a Friday, even offering free entry last year.

Under pressure to make the Sydney Sevens a commercial success and improve the return on organisation's investment in the men's and women's full-time programs, RA accepted the schedule change.

But the move has upset teams across the world, including the Australian men and women. Women's co-captain Shannon Parry was part of the delegation briefed by World Rugby in Cape Town, and raised concerns with the Rugby Union Players Association. The international players' union, International Rugby Players (IRP), has also been negotiating on behalf of players. An unnamed international coach told South African newspaper Rapport that IRP was considering approaching the CAS and the International Olympics Committee.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/world-rugby-defends-sevens-schedule-change-in-crucial-olympic-year-20200126-p53uut.html

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 3:22 pm

Really decent story about the man who has been England's liaison for NZ. His wife did all our washing, which gives you some idea of how homely the sevens circuit has been.

Mike Popata will finally hang up his Sevens lanyard on Monday. The 47 year old has been part of the New Zealand leg of the World Sevens Series for the last 20 years. During the first two years he was an event manager for Red Tickets before volunteering as a team liaison. He's being doing that now for 18 years. Fifteen of those have been with England.

"When they asked me to be a driver, I asked them which team is the most difficult and they said England, so I said, give England to me, I will sort them out." Since then, they've become part of Popata's extended family. The Wellington man even used to put on a bbq at home for the team until the tournament shifted to Hamilton.

"Watching the boys in the backyard, there is cricket, trampolines - they used to take over my house and they just made themselves at home." Now Popata sends team members a Buzzy Bee when they have their first child so they have something from New Zealand in their homes.

But this is Popata's last year. "I think it's good for other people to have a go," he told Stuff. "I am taking up space, it's in Hamilton so I've got to travel from Wellington and pay for my accommodation." Yet he doesn't mind paying from his own pocket - like all of the liaisons. "That is the passion we have for the teams we look after plus the tournament as well."

Popata's duties start before Christmas. "I start getting hold of the RFU and try and get their training schedule. I make sure everything works for them, organising their training, pool and gym sessions. Making sure they've got water, ice because at the end of the day I want them to win the day."

Popata takes a week off for the Sevens from his regular job in the commercial IT team at the Ministry of Education. "My youngest daughter was born five days before a tournament and I scarpered and still brought all the washing back for my wife to do." The passion has continued with Popata's 16-year-old daughter who has volunteered for a few years and his 13 year old is also keen.

Popata is glad to see the Sevens revived in Hamilton after shifting from Wellington. "Wellington got very low numbers at one point - the last one it was sad to see the stadium half full. It's fantastic to see Hamilton supporting it as it has. And it's cool to have the women's tournament here too."

Popata has two decades of yarns to spin - but one that sticks out resulted in his wife doing all the team's washing.

"Ben Ryan bought this limited edition England shirt, it was off white, a gold embroidered rose and he was super proud of it. "At that point in time, we used to take the team's washing to the laundromat. So we grabbed a bag and dropped it off with his shirt in there with a whole lot of red clothing. "The next day and Ben walks in with a shirt that is coloured, shrunk, effectively destroyed and he looked at me and shook his head. I still feel stink to this day."

Popata has received plenty of England memorabilia over the years including about 22 jerseys, shirts, and jackets. "There's too many to hang but I can't get rid of them, I just can't do it."

But he also received a special gift from the team on Wednesday. "I got a meat cleaver from the team which is engraved with 'Thanks for the memories. From your England Sevens Family."

While Popata supports the All Blacks - in Sevens, England has his heart, and it'll make that final drive to Auckland Airport on Monday that much harder. "I will see what it's like when I drop them off at the airport on Monday - I will take a box of tissues - or a towel for each eyeball."

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/sevens/118860369/englands-meat-cleaver-gesture-at-hamilton-sevens

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 11:47 am

Wales got spanked 54-5 by NZ in their first pool game, which made me think about starting a new thread called "Wales look like being relegated from the Sevens circuit, Does the WRU care?"

In the next game, Wales finally put together a performance and came from behind to beat Kenya 21-26. That could earn them more points than Japan this round, and take them off the bottom.

England blew away Spain, then overcame Ireland in an error-filled encounter, which now gives us a good shot at a semi-final place, as the last game is Canada. Our pool draw was about as good as it gets, so if we can't progress, then the rest of the season is going to be along slog.

NZ lost to Fiji, so they may be out of the semi-finals unless Wales can pull off a shock and beat Fiji for them. USA and host Australia have a pool decider tomorrow which, under the new format, is a real make or break, as the loser won't get a crack at the Cup.

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Post by Galted on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 1:45 pm

As far as I'm aware NZ have still never failed to qualify from the pool stages of a 7s tournament so this could be a first.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 4:17 pm

Forgot to say, Dan Norton has become the first man to score 350 tries in the Sevens Series.

https://twitter.com/WorldRugby7s/status/1223445253493088256

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Post by Taylorman on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 8:03 pm

Galted wrote:As far as I'm aware NZ have still never failed to qualify from the pool stages of a 7s tournament so this could be a first.

Could be, ‘tis a funny game. One week they beat everyone then get thrashed the next. Big things happen quickly in this game and it’s so quick that before you can even regroup it’s all over. A bit of a lottery. Even amongst the elite three or four.

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Post by Taylorman on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 8:08 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Really decent story about the man who has been England's liaison for NZ. His wife did all our washing, which gives you some idea of how homely the sevens circuit has been.

Mike Popata will finally hang up his Sevens lanyard on Monday. The 47 year old has been part of the New Zealand leg of the World Sevens Series for the last 20 years. During the first two years he was an event manager for Red Tickets before volunteering as a team liaison. He's being doing that now for 18 years. Fifteen of those have been with England.

"When they asked me to be a driver, I asked them which team is the most difficult and they said England, so I said, give England to me, I will sort them out."  Since then, they've become part of Popata's extended family. The Wellington man even used to put on a bbq at home for the team until the tournament shifted to Hamilton.

"Watching the boys in the backyard, there is cricket, trampolines - they used to take over my house and they just made themselves at home." Now Popata sends team members a Buzzy Bee when they have their first child so they have something from New Zealand in their homes.

But this is Popata's last year.  "I think it's good for other people to have a go," he told Stuff. "I am taking up space, it's in Hamilton so I've got to travel from Wellington and pay for my accommodation." Yet he doesn't mind paying from his own pocket - like all of the liaisons. "That is the passion we have for the teams we look after plus the tournament as well."

Popata's duties start before Christmas. "I start getting hold of the RFU and try and get their training schedule. I make sure everything works for them, organising their training, pool and gym sessions. Making sure they've got water, ice because at the end of the day I want them to win the day."

Popata takes a week off for the Sevens from his regular job in the commercial IT team at the Ministry of Education. "My youngest daughter was born five days before a tournament and I scarpered and still brought all the washing back for my wife to do." The passion has continued with Popata's 16-year-old daughter who has volunteered for a few years and his 13 year old is also keen.  

Popata is glad to see the Sevens revived in Hamilton after shifting from Wellington. "Wellington got very low numbers at one point - the last one it was sad to see the stadium half full. It's fantastic to see Hamilton supporting it as it has. And it's cool to have the women's tournament here too."

Popata has two decades of yarns to spin - but one that sticks out resulted in his wife doing all the team's washing.

"Ben Ryan bought this limited edition England shirt, it was off white, a gold embroidered rose and he was super proud of it. "At that point in time, we used to take the team's washing to the laundromat. So we grabbed a bag and dropped it off with his shirt in there with a whole lot of red clothing. "The next day and Ben walks in with a shirt that is coloured, shrunk, effectively destroyed and he looked at me and shook his head. I still feel stink to this day."

Popata has received plenty of England memorabilia over the years including about 22 jerseys, shirts, and jackets. "There's too many to hang but I can't get rid of them, I just can't do it."

But he also received a special gift from the team on Wednesday.  "I got a meat cleaver from the team which is engraved with 'Thanks for the memories. From your England Sevens Family."

While Popata supports the All Blacks  - in Sevens, England has his heart, and it'll make that final drive to Auckland Airport on Monday that much harder.  "I will see what it's like when I drop them off at the airport on Monday - I will take a box of tissues - or a towel for each eyeball."

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/sevens/118860369/englands-meat-cleaver-gesture-at-hamilton-sevens

Nice, hadn’t seen that.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 1:07 am

USA destroyed Australia 7-43, so the hosts can't repeat NZ's achievement last weekend, and win their own tournament.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 2:25 am

England win 26-14 over Canada, which books a place in the semi-final. Topping our pool twice in a row has been handy in this new format, since it guarantees us a minimum 4th place. We've been lucky so far but could easily be on the wrong side of things, as South Africa found last week.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 3:14 am

Semi-finals are

South Africa v USA
Fiji v England

New Zealand beat Kenya, and so have a chance to play for 5th spot against Australia,as they were the best two 2nd place pool finishers.

Wales and Scotland have the 11th/12th play-off, while Japan are in the 13th/14th match against Spain, so Wales will definitely get more points than Japan in this round.

The brutality of this new format is highlighted by the fact Kenya and Samoa will be playing in the last place 15th/16th decider.


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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 6:08 am

No joy for England over Fiji, as we have just gone down 17-14.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 10:12 am

Another 4th place for England, after USA beat us 17-10. We are having trouble stringing together any kind of consistent wins over top teams. USA and Fiji weren't a total class apart but we never looked like winning either game.

Still, we've come out of these two rounds in better shape than our showing in Cape Town would have suggested. However, until we start claiming more medals, or even win a round, then we won't be a realistic threat to win the Series.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 11:11 am

Overall, England remain in 4th place on 54 points, still a long way off NZ, who are running away with it a bit right now. Worth remembering that France haven't even qualified for the Olympics yet. Fiji and USA are running below par, given that both were top 4 finishers last year.

Mid table for Ireland is not a bad showing so far for a first season, especially when you look at the teams below them. Samoa have had a particularly poor last three rounds, after flattering to deceive with a 4th place in Dubai. Wales are level points with Japan but remain at the bottom. The determining factors are overall points difference, and then number of tries. Not sure how close those are for Wales and Japan, but Wales had two big losses to Fiji and NZ in Sydney, which wouldn't have helped.

Standing after 4 rounds:
NZ -76
South Africa - 67
France - 56
England -54
Fiji -53
USA - 47
Australia - 47
Argentina - 45
Ireland - 33
Canada - 33
Kenya - 26
Scotland - 25
Samoa - 23
Spain - 17
Japan - 9
Wales - 9

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 2:05 pm

Australia women got hammered by Canada in the semifinal, which meant the home crowd went away disappointed. There was this yellow card incident.


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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 1:39 pm

Maybe it's an Australian thing - their women pull hair but their men like George Smith get their hair pulled?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 2:29 pm

Didn't actually see any of the rugby in the LA leg. Looking at the results, England are very lucky the old format is back for this round, as we managed to lose to Spain and NZ in the pool. We can still win the tournament, though, because we managed ti scarpe into the Quarter Finals. However, we'll have to get through Fiji first, which will be a hard task.

USA will also be glad about the format reverting, as they lost to Australia in the pools. They face South Africa in the quarter finals. The other two QF fixtures are Australia vs Ireland and NZ vs France. Ireland lost to Kenya in the pool but pulled out a draw against South Africa, which will give them heart.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 1:09 am

Missed this day too but looks like the final as a cracker, with South Africa scoring three times in the closing minutes to beat Fiji 24-29

South Africa didn't have a procession to the title, having drawn with Ireland in the pool matches, and scarped past USA in the quarters.

England spent most of this round losing. We played five matches and only managed a solitary win against Wales, who are in 15th place in the standings. After losing the QF to Fiji, we still had a shot at 5th place but Ireland beat us, before losing themselves to USA.

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Post by westisbest on Sun 08 Mar 2020, 5:31 pm

Ireland missing an opportunity to win there again.
Frustrating tournament.

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Post by Galted on Sun 08 Mar 2020, 6:35 pm

westisbest wrote:Ireland missing an opportunity to win there again.
Frustrating tournament.

Had a funny tournament last week. Threw away a win against SA by misjudging playing down the clock and running the ball out with a second still on the clock and then conceding a try. Did beat England again as well, something they seem to do regularly.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 09 Mar 2020, 4:20 am

England haven't looked great all season but managed 5th place, after beating Spain and USA in the scrap for minor places. We got thumped by South Africa in the pool, and outclassed by Australia in the quarters, however.

The Canadians were a big surprise. They topped the pool, beating Fiji along the way, and made the semi-finals by beating Spain. Australia denied them a place in the final, but they beat South Africa to finish in third place. A good result for their home tournament.

For all we know, that might be it for the season now. Singapore and Hong Kong are postponed, and we don't know what life will look like in May, when the London and Paris legs are due to be played.

I usually watch Sevens quite closely but I haven't been able to get into it this year. Partly, there was a hangover from the 15s World Cup, and the knowledge that the Olympic Sevens are really the main event (which may also be in doubt). Also, the changed format for Australia and NZ seemed an unfair way to run the tournament. Whichever format you settle on, it should be the same for every round.

It has also been frustrating watching the Home nations sides. Wales don't appear to care about Sevens any more, while Scotland have been disappointing. They used to be a midtable side, capable of knocking over top sides now and again but they no longer seem to get those big wins. Meanwhile, England are trying to introduce new blood but the lack of Premiership support means it is just a happy accident if we turn up someone who has been overlooked by the club academies.

We are fifth in the current standings, because we had a good first round, and benefitted from very favourable draws during the the all-or-nothing rounds in NZ and Australia. However, our record against the top four sides has been poor, and we still lose to teams below us, so we've never looked like realistic challengers for a title.

Ireland are more exciting to watch, because there's a sense of progress with the side, which you can't see in Wales or Scotland. Still, they need to build on this first season, which won't be easy given the disruption.




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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 12:21 am

Not surprisingly, the opening rounds of the 2020-21 season have been cancelled. Dubai and Cape Town are two big draws, so it's hard to see how a meaningful season can take place. In theory, we still have sevens at the Olympics in summer 2021.

https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/53580191

The Dubai and Cape Town rounds of the 2021 Rugby World Sevens - due to take place in November and December this year - will not take place because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Men's and women's events had been scheduled for 26-28 November and 4-6 December 2020 respectively.

World Rugby has set up a working group to evaluate the rest of the season.

New Zealand were awarded men's and women's titles for 2020 having led the standings when the suspension came.

Dubai has staged a sevens event every year since the inaugural tournament in 1970.

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said: "This is a prudent decision taken with the health and wellbeing of the global rugby community and wider society as our top priority and guided by the relevant government and international public health authority advice.

"We look forward to welcoming these wonderful destinations back to the series following this year's hiatus."

Last week it was announced that England men's and women's sevens players - some of whom are due to compete in next year's rescheduled Tokyo Olympics - may not have their contracts renewed because of the financial impact of coronavirus.

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