Can the Hamilton 7s be another Australia Day invasion? - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby Sevens

Can the Hamilton 7s be another Australia Day invasion?

Can the Hamilton 7s be another Australia Day invasion?

The World Series Sevens has returned at the perfect time for your Australia day weekend, with a mountain of footy to enjoy with a BBQ and beer.

Last time out – Cape Town

Winners: Fiji

Fiji won the tournament in emphatic style, getting up 29-15 over the USA with their usual flamboyant style breaking down the stiff USA defence. Fiji’s performance in Cape Town was a serious warning to the rest of the competition with victories over England and South Africa in the lead up to the final. After strong showings in the pool stages both Australia and New Zealand failed to impress in the finals, with the Aussies coming seventh and New Zealand fourth. However, with the Cape Town Sevens finishing almost two months ago, how the teams have trained and prepared will be more important than ever.

Australia so far

The 2019 World Series has been an indifferent start for the Aussies, with plenty of solid performances in the pool stages giving creating the opportunity to go deep in the tournament. However, in both Dubai and Cape Town they have failed to build on their momentum. In Hamilton the Aussies face their toughest test in the pool stages with games against Argentina, Wales and Fiji.

A first place finishing in this pool will provide another great opportunity for Australia to achieve a top four finish in the tournament with most likely an easy run in the finals following the pool stage. The success of Australia’s tournament in Hamilton will be heavily dependent on the performance of Maurice Longbottom, with the youngster being far and away Australia’s best player. Currently sitting second on the DHL performance tracker, Longbottom leads the competition in carries and is third on the try scoring list.  Much of Australia’s attacking threat lies on this mans shoulders with his fast feat and blistering speed often leaving defenders embarrassed.

Additionally, watch out for John Porch with the leading point scorer in this year’s series continuing his fine form from last year. Porch is also leading the competition in kick offs retained, a vital aspect of Sevens in order to maintain the pressure on the opposition.

Fixtures:

Australia v Argentina 9:30 EST

Australia v Wales 1:20 EST

Australia v Fiji 5:52 EST

Squad:

Lewis Holland (c), Nick Malouf, Lachlan Anderson, Henry Hutchison, Simon Kennewell, Jeral Skelton, Sam Myers, Josh Coward*, Maurice Longbottom, Ben O’Donnell, John Porch, Brandon Quinn, Michael Wells.

*Denotes uncapped player

Teams to watch

Men Sydney 7s USA v Scotland Carlton Isles

USA speed machine Carlin Isles looks for space.

USA

Team USA have been the surprise packet of this years World Series, sitting on top of the ladder after the first two tournaments for the first time in their short Sevens history. Despite sitting second for most tries and points scored it has been their defence that has been the standout, averaging only 14.8 points per game. The USA’s ability to absorb pressure in defence and then counter attack off turnovers with the likes of Perry Baker and Carlin Isles makes them a serious threat to the competition but also a joy to watch.

USA v Tonga 9:06 EST

USA v Samoa 12:54 EST

USA v England 5:06 EST

Samoa

Although Samoa sit 10th on the World Series ladder their brilliant attacking abilities has resulted in them scoring the third most points for the series. Furthermore, Samoa know how to put on a brilliant game of Sevens with an average total score of 43.66 in games they are involved in, one of the highest averages in the series. This makes Samoa an exiting prospect to watch at Hamilton, particularly with a large Samoan presence in the crowd expected and the form of Alamada Motuga who is currently leading try scorer and sitting third on the DHL performance tracker.

Samoa v England 8:44 EST

Samoa v USA 12:54 EST

Samoa v Tonga 4:44 EST

Tournament details

Kiwi fans Sydney 7s

Kiwi fans will be out in force this weekend.

Hamilton Sevens, New Zealand, 26-27th January

Live on Fox Sports from 8am EST

Ladder:

1st: USA 38

2nd: New Zealand 37

3rd: Fiji 35

4th: England 30

5th: South Africa 29

6th: Australia 25

 

  • Kiap

    Good preview – Cheers. Hoping that the Aussies make a dent in the competition now with the Hamilton and Sydney tournaments as home region events. I think Longbottom looks the goods as the spark to this team.

    • RugbyReg

      agree. This is a very decent squad. Mo is ready to break out and it’s great to see him playing so many minutes and defending pretty strongly too.

      I hope we see Hutchison get his speed back as I’m not convinced he’s as fast has he was pre-Rebels.

      We still need a lot to go our way (on all sides of the draw) to be contenders for the tournament, but that’s the beauty of 7s!

  • Nutta

    Many thanks Hamish

    I find the Americans interesting. They have some big bodies for 7’s players and their general athleticism supports why i believe full 15’s rugby would be a natural fit for them as a society.

    Longbottom is a cracker to watch and I wonder what sort of a 15’s No9 he would make…

Rugby Sevens

Aspiring sports journalism with a passion for all things rugby. Currently studying journalism at the University of Wollongong.

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