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One swallow does not a summer make,” a quote attributed to Aristotle, means an event or incident does not constitute a trend. So, for the Eagles Sevens, one so-so performance (Wellington) does not call for panic with seven tournaments remaining.
The New Zealand result dropped the Eagles from third to sixth in the HSBC World Rugby standings with 39-points total, four ahead of Australia. The first five placements are: South Africa (54), Fiji (52), New Zealand (47), and Argentina (41) tied with England (41).
In Wellington, the USA lost to England in pool play, Fiji (Cup first round) and Australia, not advancing to the Plate Final.
The All-Blacks, playing at home, and without injuries, beat the Bokkies twice to take the championship. Perhaps the most surprising outcome was South Africa’s shutout of Fiji 31-0.
An analysis of some of the Sevens’ series date indicates the importance of defense over offense. Argentina have scored only 174 points (the lowest of all core teams) with 27 tries to tie England for fourth place. The USA rank second in total points at 307, and tied with South Africa for second most tries (47). Fiji lead all squads with 388 points and 59 tries.
This week’s Australian round will witness the hosting in Sydney after the tournament moved from Gold Coast this year. The games will be played at the 45,000 capacity Allianz Stadium.