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The new HSBC Sevens World Series points system is already paying off.

Teams in previously meaningless games (Shield final) now are not only playing for pride, but points. Teams that had bad first days can salvage something with a victory on the second day.

In previous years, once you were put into the Bowl Round (the bottom eight) the only way to get any points was to win all three games. That meant that teams on the lower end of the standings could go 0-2, 2-1, or 1-1, and it wouldn’t matter; they’d still end up with no points to show improvement.

This has made the lower-level games more exciting, and also helped the rankings.

In addition, making the top eight isn’t the points bonanza it used to be. You still need to win games.

Has it made a difference in the standings?

Actually, yes. Here are the current IRB standings:



AUS

DUB

PTS

1

FIJI

22

17

39

2

ENGLAND

10

22

32

3

FRANCE

10

19

29

3

NEW ZEALAND

19

10

29

3

SOUTH AFRICA

17

12

29

6

AUSTRALIA

15

13

28

7

ARGENTINA

8

15

23

7

WALES

13

10

23

9

SAMOA

12

3

15

9

SCOTLAND

7

8

15

11

UNITED STATES

5

7

12

12

CANADA

0

5

5

12

PORTUGAL

0

5

5

12

TONGA

5

0

5

15

KENYA

1

2

3

15

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

3

0

3

17

JAPAN

2

0

2

18

NIUE

1

0

1

18

UAE

0

1

1

18

ZIMBABWE

0

1

1

 

And here are how they would be under the old system.



AUS

DUB

PTS

1

FIJI

24

16

40

2

ENGLAND

6

24

30

3

AUSTRALIA

16

12

28

4

FRANCE

6

20

26

4

NEW ZEALAND

20

6

26

4

SOUTH AFRICA

16

10

26

7

ARGENTINA

4

16

20

8

WALES

12

6

18

9

SAMOA

10

0

10

10

SCOTLAND

0

4

4



Our top two are the same, but Australia would have received more points in the old system, which rewarded making the Plate Round more than the new system does.

In addition, notice that the old system stops at 10. After that the remaining participating teams got zero points in the old system, whereas now we know that the USA ranks the highest of those teams thanks to a 3-2 overall record on Day Two. In the old system, the USA and Kenya would be ranked equally. In the new system, the Eagles are rewarded for winning three games on Day Two, while Kenya, having gone 1-4 on Day Two, doesn’t earn as many points.