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Oceania Sevens Ready To Roll

Oceania Sevens ready to roll Oceania Rugby yesterday released the draw for the 2018 Oceania Rugby Sevens Championships set for November 9-10 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva. The draw for
25 Oct 2018 10:00
Oceania Sevens Ready To Roll

Oceania Sevens ready to roll

Oceania Rugby yesterday released the draw for the 2018 Oceania Rugby Sevens Championships set for November 9-10 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.

The draw for the Championships includes:

Four (4) pools comprising 13 teams for the men’s event.

Two (2) pools comprising of 8 teams for the women’s event.

51 matches in total.

27 matches on Day One and 24 matches on Day 2.

31 men’s championship matches and 20 women’s championship matches.

Women’s Championship

In the Women’s Championship, current Women’s Sevens Series champions, Australia will be favoured to take Pool A on-form and experience,” said Wayne Schuster, Oceania Sevens tournament director and competitions manager for Oceania Rugby.

He said they will be slightly disappointed by their own standards from their recent placing at the USA 7s this month, and will be expected to make amends in Suva; where they will be looking to square up against arch rivals New Zealand.

“With a team comprised of all local players, Samoa is building towards qualifying for core status and will be eyeing their encounter against PNG on day one. A win to Samoa in pool play, may put qualification for the Women Series beyond PNG’s grasp,” he said.

Schuster expect a physical challenge from newcomers Nauru.

In Pool B in the Women’s Championship, Commonwealth Games, World Rugby Cup and recent USA 7s champions New Zealand will be hot favourites in this year’s edition, and will be determined to cap off a successful year by defending their Oceania 7s title.

Schuster said after a slow start at the Women Sevens Series last week, the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team will be looking to make a statement in Suva.

“The Fijiana will  need to repel a feisty Cook Islands team who will be determined to topple their Pacific neighbours .” Schuster added.

He said newcomers New Caledonia join the tournament with a sense of the unknown.

Men’s Championship

In Pool A, Papua New Guinea have proven to be the more promising of the emerging teams in the region, and have displayed some exciting performances at Sydney, Hamilton and Hong Kong over the past two seasons.

“Featuring at both the World Rugby Cup and Commonwealth Games last year, PNG have had no shortage of exposure at the highest level and wins against core teams France and Russia proves PNG’s status as a real contender to break into the World Sevens Series should they qualify from this year’s Oceania 7s Championship.”

After a narrow loss against Tonga at last year’s Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands have proven they are far from just making up numbers this year.

In Pool B, Commonwealth Games and World Cup champions, New Zealand will be the overriding favourites and will be looking to work their team combinations against Nauru and New Caledonia.

Schuster said Nauru and New Caledonia both play a physical style of rugby, and there will be no love lost between the two teams following a close encounter in last year’s Pacific Mini Games 5th and 6th playoff.

In Pool C, Australia will be looking to continue their good form from the World Sevens Series this year, where they finished 4th overall. As will be the case with the other regional core teams in the World Sevens Series playing this year’s Championship  Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa, Australia will be hoping to fine tune their squad combinations ahead of an all-important 2018/2019 World Sevens Series where 2020 Olympic qualification spots will be up for grabs.

Although qualifying for the World Cup from the Pacific Mini Games, Tonga will be disappointed from last year’s performances at the Oceania Rugby 7s, where they failed to qualify for the HSBC SWS Qualification event in Hong Kong for the first time.

Oceania Rugby

 



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