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With two rounds remaining in the 2015 Women’s 7s (England and the Netherlands), there exists a six-team race for three of the four top Olympic 2016 qualifying spots. New Zealand, winners of the first four events is assured, both mathematically and realistically, of one of the top places. With 80-points total, the undefeated Black Ferns stand 22 points higher than second place Canada.
The log jam for the remaining three places is the following:
2. Canada at 58 points
3. Australia at 56 points
4. France at 52 points
5. USA at 48 points
5. England at 48 points
7. Russia at 46 points
They key to advancement has been to finish second and gain the coveted 18 points. Russia vaulted into contention with a surprising second place result in Canada.
If the USA should join New Zealand, Canada, and Australia in the top four, the three European teams (France, England as Great Britain, and Russia) would compete in the European playoff with one team advancing. The two losers would go into the final repechage, and the outcome would be that currently, one of the top seven ranked teams would be left out of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
An unsatisfactory scenario affecting the USA, would be that both the Eagles and Canada do not finish in the top four. Then, the teams would battle for the North American Olympic slot, the loser forced to go into the final repechage with 15 other teams.
The USA must gain at least one second place finish to make up the four point gap behind France.
England – May 14-16
Amsterdam- May 21-23