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The midway point in the ten city HSBC World Rugby Sevens circuit, after five events contested, lists South Africa, last year’s champion, in first place by a full ten-point margin over second place New Zealand. The USA’s win in Las Vegas last week was worth 22-points but only vaulted the Eagles into sixth place in the standings. (Remember the Eagles garnered a single point in Dubai.)
In Vegas, the Springboks played without three of their starters, all involved with the national XV side. South Africa looked flat and without any of the on field speed that categorized past tournaments. Fiji also seemed stuck in third gear, not demonstrating the handling panache showcased on the world stage during their gold medal run in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
On the upswing are Argentina, making their third medal result in the five matches to date. Los Pumas also produced a significant increase from last year, a team highest 22-point gain. Australia also rose 20-points from last season, winning at home in Sydney and a third-place outcome in New Zealand,
Standing Data After Five Events:
Team 2017 2018 Diff.
SA 107 92 -15
NZ 71 82 +9
Fiji 83 79 -4
Aust. 52 72 +20
Argen. 45 67 +22
USA 52 58 +6
Eng. 81 57 -24
This weekend in Vancouver will clarify the standings with the sixth event. Remaining tournaments are Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and, lastly, Paris. The Women play in the Paris event in May, also.