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The initial tournament of the ten scheduled HSBC 2018/2019 Men’s Sevens event concluded in Dubai, where New Zealand defeated the USA to take the title. The victory represented the first All Blacks win in Dubai since 2009, ending a nine-year draught.

England beat Australia for the Bronze medal. Of note, England 7’s star Dan Norton became the first player to notch 300 tries in the HSBC annual event.

The silver placement for the USA recorded 19 points to set them second behind New Zealand. In this season, the top four teams will automatically qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games (Women as well), which includes a definite seeding in one of the four pools that will comprise Olympic play. Fiji took the Men’s Gold in Rio in 2016. Australia Women won Gold.

Standings to Date:

  1. NZ = 22
  2. USA = 19
  3. England = 17
  4. Australia = 15
  5. Fiji = 13
  6. RSA = 12
  7. Scotland = 10
  8. Argentina = 10
  9. Samoa = 8
  10. France = 7

This weekend, the Men’s series moves to Capetown, South Africa, where the USA will face Japan, Spain, and Argentina. Only one of these sides (Los Pumas) ranks in the top ten. Play begins December 12 and the schedule follows:

Time *   Opponent

12.05   Japan

15:26   Spain

17:12   Argentina

* PM and EST

In South Africa, Capetown replaced Elizabeth as the official HSBC stop on the circuit a few years ago. The result has been 35,000 sellout crowds on both days. Look for the Springboks to have a positive tournament playing in front of the home town fans.