Last week brought much excitement to rugby fans that enjoyed the action of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament. The competition featured the first round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series and the second round of the men’s nine-leg HSBC Sevens World Series. The tournaments were run side by side at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai. The event not only brought 3 days of excitement, but also presented an occasion to socialize in the Rugby Village or at Rugby Rock with great music and dancing entertainment! During three exciting days, the event attracted rugby fans from all around the world.
The women’s competitions were on Thursday and Friday, while the men’s event was held on Friday and Saturday. For the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens event, 12 teams were placed in three pools of 4 where ranked according to lost/win results; whereas, the HSBC Sevens World Series consisted of 16 teams competing in four pool groups of 4.
On day one, Australia was on top of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, with rival New Zealand just behind them in second, England in third and USA in fourth. On day two, Australia and New Zealand came out on top and faced each other in the cup final. It was a close game with a last-minute try by Sarah Goss that allowed New Zealand to clinch the title and win the opening round of the Women’s Sevens Series in Dubai19 to 17. New Zealand skipper Sarah Goss said the win is crucial in the overall standings qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics on the line. Along with New Zealand and Australia, Canada and France (that placed third and fourth respectively) made themselves the early contenders for Summer Games berths.
As for the men’s event, defending champions Fiji finished third defeating New Zealand 26-12 and still sitting at top spot in World Series standings as they continue their quest to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. After a 17-29 loss to Fiji in last year’s final, South Africa proved to be the team to beat, reaching the Cup final again and defeating Australia 33-7 at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens.Their stunning win means South Africa is now just two points behind Fiji at the top of the standings. Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand are placed third and fourth at this point. Only the top four will secure automatic qualification for Rio 2016.
South Africa clinched the title with the help of Kwagga Smith who put in a commanding performance in attack and defense and Werner Kok, later named player of the tournament, along with some other members of the squad said team captain Kyle Brown, who lifted the trophy after the final.