DUBAI, UAE – It was the first tournament of the season and it is a bit early to infer too much, but there are already things that stand out. For the @USAWomens7s, it appears this team needs to get its act together and fast. For the rest of the world, New Zealand have laid down the gauntlet that this season will not be like last season and they are back to take their crown.
Americans not seizing the moment:
The Eagles 7s had a poor performance in Dubai. Indeed, one could argue that it was possibly their worst ever. The USA hasn’t finished a tournament this poorly in a long time. The Eagles went 2-3 on and it was who they lost to that caught everyone’s attention. On Day One, they needed a late try to comeback and defeat Russia and then they had a shock loss to South Africa. The loss to the Springboks was as poor a single match performance as the Eagles could have played. That loss hurt because next up for the Eagles were defending Olympic and Series Champs, Australia. The Eagles bounced back to have a better performance but when you play the best, you have to play your best and the Eagles could not play the perfect game need and lost 19-10. The loss sent the Eagles into the what was the Bowl playoffs but now is referred to as the Challenge Trophy bracket.
Day Two began with an even more shocking loss than the aforementioned stinker vs South Africa… if that was possible. And it was. The Eagles fell hard to Ireland, 28-5 in a more abject performance than the day before. The loss knocked the USA out the Challenge Trophy bracket. This meant the USA was now in the 11th place game. They found their mojo in their final match of the day, looking dominant and beating Brazil, 17-26.
Losses to South Africa and Ireland are not acceptable, however. Hopefully the squad learns from these setbacks and puts them in the rear-view mirror.
Fantastic Black Ferns:
It was the return of the Blackness, as the Black Ferns signaled their return to prominence. @NZ7s managed to defeat Ireland, FIji and France by a minimum of 9 points, without breaking a sweat in two of those matches. Then in the knockout round, they shutout South Africa and held Russia and the defending champions, Australia, to just 5 points. It was as impressive a 6-game run as the series have seen.
Australia looked good over the two days but they came up against their old rival… and this time came up short… Russia started slowly but did well in the end as they managed to defeat England in the third place match… Continuing their improvement from tournament to tournament, the ladies of Ireland managed to secure a few upsets and claim the Challenge Trophy.
Final standings will be
Cup: New Zealand
That’s all for now, please feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@: @RugbyWrapUp, @Junoir Blaber, @MeetTheMatts, @Luke Bienstock, @Ronan Nelson, @Brian C Cole and @Declan Yeats.
And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.