Wed, Jan 31, 11:41am by Staff Writer
Australia were the big winners at the Sydney leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series. With both the Men’s and Women’s teams victorious over the weekend. Indeed, the Women’s side did not concede a point in any game.
Whilst the Men won their first tournament since 2012, lifting the Sydney title courtesy of a monumental Final win over South Africa. The Aussies crushed the Blitzbokke 29-0 much to the delight of the home crowd.
A young Australian squad will now look to make their mark on the Series as a whole after moving up to 3rd on the overall standings after just three legs. They will move onto New Zealand this week priced at $9 to win the Series down from $26 prior to Sydney.
Beaten finalists and last year’s Series Champions, South Africa remain favourites to lift the title again. Their 2nd place finish in Sydney keeps them top of the standings after fine displays in Dubai and Cape Town. They shortened to $1.80 from $2.25.
New Zealand will be hoping that they receive the same boost from the home crowd as Australia did, when the Series moves on to Hamilton this weekend. A 5th placed finish in Sydney will have been disappointing for a side looking to return to their glory days in the World Rugby Sevens Series. A win in Cape Town, however, keeps them 2nd in the standings ahead of the Aussies and priced at $4 to win the Series.
Fiji had the most disappointing weekend of all the sides at the Sydney 7’s. A dramatic late win over New Zealand in the Pools was followed by a thrashing from the USA in the Cup quarter finals. Sevens is a major focus for Fiji, with a proud history in the game. Yet with a new coach they are struggling to produce the performances that saw them become inaugural Gold medallists in Rio. They moved from $5 to $9 as they came 6th in Sydney. If they are able to rediscover their form, then Fiji are certainly a threat to reigning Champions South Africa.
Another side who continued their struggles this season in Sydney were England. Heading into the Series, they were priced at $7 to win the overall title. A price that has now shifted to $26 after a 7th place finish in Sydney, coupled with poor performances at the previous Legs before Christmas. Sitting 6th in the standings they are not completely out of the running but will need a drastic change in form for the upcoming tournaments.
The opening Legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series have highlighted the improvements of several of the lesser renowned Sevens teams. Especially Argentina who reached the Final in Cape Town followed by a Bronze placed finish in Sydney. They stand at $26.
Their rivals in the 3rd place playoff, the USA, also impressed in Sydney as they beat Fiji on their way to a 4th placed finish. Although they are well of the pace in the overall standings priced at $67, they could provide a few shock results this season.
World Rugby Sevens Outright Winner
South Africa $1.80
New Zealand $4
Wales 7s $501
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