Argentina Wins Cup Title, New Zealand Crowned Series Champions at…
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 resumed with Fiji, Samoa, Ireland, and Great Britain winning all their games on a rainy first day at the HSBC Los Angeles Sevens in California.
Despite severe weather conditions, teams, staff, fans, and tournament organizers persevered through the day, which included two extended breaks due to lightning in the area surrounding Dignity Health Sports Park. As a result, the day ran well over its planned running time.
On day two, the men’s quarter-finals begin at 10:23, with Samoa facing Argentina, Fiji taking on South Africa, Great Britain battling New Zealand, and Ireland facing Australia.
Cape Town winners Samoa opened their tournament with a 26-19 victory over hosts USA before a decisive win over invitational team Chile (31-5) and finished the day with an exciting match beating Series leaders New Zealand 14-7 to top Pool A.
New Zealand claimed second place to secure their spot in the quarter-finals, while USA pulled off a come-from-behind win over Chile through a try at the death by Gavan D’Amore to finish third.
Dubai silver medal winners Ireland topped Pool B with an undefeated record after wins over Uruguay (7-0), Canada (22-0), and South Africa (14-5). Uruguay, who defeated South Africa for the first time ever, Canada, and the Blitzboks finished in a three-way tie, however, the Africans would advance to the quarter-finals based on the best points differential.
Double Olympic champions Fiji got off to a flying start in Pool A with a 50-00 win over Japan before a 19-5 victory in a fierce encounter with Kenya and a last-second 15-12 win against Hong Kong champions Australia.
Great Britain was the form team in Pool D with three straight victories over Argentina (7-5), Spain (24-17), and France (21-14) to top the pool. Argentina secured wins against France (17-12) and Spain (19-7) to book their spot in Sunday’s cup quarter-finals.
The 2023 Series is the most competitive in history, with the prize of Olympic Games Paris 2024 qualification on offer for the top four women’s and men’s teams in the 2023 Series standings, while hosts France have pre-qualified for next year’s pinnacle event in the nation’s capital.
New Zealand currently sit atop the Series standings with 85 points, followed by South Africa at 76 points, and five nations (Samoa, France, Fiji, Argentina, and USA) are separated by just two points between 68 and 66 in the race for the final two spots for Paris 2024.
The stakes couldn’t be higher at the bottom end of the men’s Series this season as well. Following the penultimate event in Toulouse, the 15th-ranked team will be relegated to the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2024 while the 12th through 14th-ranked teams will face off against the Challenger Series 2023 winner for the 12th and final position on the 2024 Series.
Rugby sevens fans around the world can watch the action via live stream on World Rugby digital platforms including www.world.rugby, YouTube, and Facebook in countries where there is no national broadcaster covering the event. The finals day on Sunday begins with the ninth-place quarter-final at 08:55 local time (GMT-8) and concludes with the cup final