HSBC Cape Town Sevens Day 1 Was Full Of Surprises


The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series never fails to deliver in terms of drama, excitement and entertainment and the best men’s and women’s teams in the world were at it again on the first day of the three day HSBC Cape Town Sevens event in South Africa

Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Ireland and the USA all end day one with a perfect win record in women’s tournament.

Reigning Cape Town champions New Zealand beaten by Spain on opening day, while Great Britain overcome reigning Series title holders Australia in men’s competition.

South Africa men make a winning start, continuing the fine form that won them the Dubai title last weekend.

Play continues on Saturday from 08:45 local time (GMT+2) with the completion of the pool phase and quarter-finals, ahead of the semi-finals and finals on Sunday.

With Paris 2024 Olympic qualification and Series status at stake the current edition promises to be the most competitive in history.

Each men’s team played one pool match on day one and Spain were the talk of Cape Town after defeating reigning Cape Town champions New Zealand 14-10 in Pool C.

In Pool B Great Britain overcame current Series title holders Australia with a last minute converted clinching a 21-19 victory in a match full of twists and turns.

South Africa and double Olympic champions Fiji got their Cape Town campaigns off to winning starts in Pool A with the hosts beating Canada 17-7 and the Pacific Islanders overpowering France 33-0.

In the women’s competition reigning Series title holders Australia, along with Olympic champions New Zealand, Fiji, Ireland and the USA all ended day one with a perfect win record following a pair of victories in their opening day matches to secure their place in the quarter-finals with a match to spare.

South Africa and Australia are joint leaders of the men’s Series with 32 points after two rounds, the first of which was won by reigning Series title holders Australia in Hong Kong last month and the second by South Africa in Dubai last weekend. France and Ireland are currently third and fourth on 30 and 29 points respectively.

At the other end of the table in the men’s competition the number of teams for the next edition of the Series will reduce from 16 to 12 to equal the number of women’s teams and align with the Olympic competition structure, meaning fans can expect an intense battle to avoid relegation throughout the 2023 Series with every match and every point counting towards the final Series rankings.

Australia lead the women’s Series standings after claiming victory at the opening round in Dubai last weekend, followed by New Zealand and the USA in second and third place respectively.