HSBC 7s: Nelson Mandela Bay Chatter

HSBC Sevens Series... The Captains
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HSBC Sevens Series… The Captains & the coveted trophy. Guess where.

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA – Welcome to Port Elizabeth… We expect the weather to be bright and sunny… unlike that rainy mess called Dubai. The Nelson Mandela Bay 7s is the third leg of the HSBC Sevens Series. It was right at around this time last year where the All Black 7s side won (their 3rd straight year winning the SA7s leg) and began hitting their stride for the Series. Let us look at the Pools and who will finish 1st through 4th and our best guess as to the hardware winners

Pool A
1. South Africa (RSA): Home team bump
2. Samoa (SAM): Momentum of winning in Dubai
3. Australia (AUS): Improving but not there yet
4. France (FRA): Not in the same class as the other two teams

Pool B
1.New Zealand (NZL): They are starting to gel and they are the gold standard
2.Fiji (FIJ): Always dangerous and developing consistency
3.England (ENG): Still struggling to play without Turner and Cracknell
4.Scotland (SCO): Improving but really in a tough pool

Pool C
1.Argentina (ARG): Best history of going far in tourneys out of the teams in this pool
2.Kenya (KEN): This could be their big run of the Series
3.Spain (ESP): They will push very hard for second and just may do it
4.Wales (WAL): They could also finish second as this is a very even group

Pool D
1.Canada (CAN): Best track record of the team in the pool
2.United States (USA): Not head and shoulder above the competition but this will be their best chance
3.Portugal (POR): Doubt they have another big run in them so soon
4.Zimbabwe (ZIM): Will fight well and may surprise some on Day 2 but not on Day 1

Cup Champions: South Africa
Plate Champions: Samoa
Bowl Champions: Kenya
Shield Champions: Zimbabwe

The tourney kicks off here at 11:00 AM Saturday, which will be 6:00am in New York. Take E.S.T. and add 5 hours as a reference.

Like Ben Ryan of England, USA Coach Alex Magleby is under fire. In this round, the Americans must contend with the old enemy, Canada, who has given the Eagles fits, but other than that they have a very favorable draw. They have two teams in Zimbabwe and Portugal they can be viewed as slightly better and even with, respectively. This will be the USA’s best chance to advance and begin to start winning over Coach Mags’ naysayers.

For a complete schedule, click here. Matches can be seen live on NBC-Universal Sports, with some live coverage of second day action on NBC. You can also try for live action.

That is it for me for now. Please feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp, @JunoirBlaber, @Declan Yeats and @Mathew Drew Turner, respectively.

And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.

About Junoir Blaber 868 Articles
Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at