Dubai, UAE – The 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series [Still prefer IRB but we will let it go] kicks off in Dubai, on Thursday, third of December (middle of the night, NYC time). The Dubai 7s is one of only two 7s tournaments that is a stop on both the men’s and women’s circuit. With the women’s tour being shortened to only 4 stops, there will be little room for error for any side hopeful of winning the title.. Why are there only four stops? Well we address that here. The RWU staff will continue to pull double duty and take a look at both the Eagle 7s program and then take a stab at predicting each tournament.
As gentleman, it must be ladies first. However, we would like to note the amount of gender quality by RWU as we continue to provide equal coverage to each Eagles 7s side. Our own Jake Frechette provided a preview of the entire Womens Sevens World Series as well as the USA Womens Eagles 7s season.
With Jake the Snake, so much on top of things we won’t re-hash any of his points in detail. We will take a look at the three main issues that stand out going into this tournament for the USA women’s program and its head coach Jules McCoy.
New Coach: Ric Suggit is out and Jules McCoy is in. What does this mean for the program? No one is sure. The theory is McCoy has less of a love affair with crossover athletes so she will likely select players with far more rugby experience. How this will change things and how she will make the team more competitive is unknown. Fans of the Eagles 7s women are kind of just watching and waiting.
Lack of pace: The USA is as fit as any side in the competition. The lack of pace out wide is something that needs to be fixed. Maybe under McCoy the play will be more expansive and allow the USA players more space out wide but without the wheels to finish like the top sides, the team will have to be creative in its ability to generate try-scoring opportunities.
Pressure: It can make a diamond and it can bust a pipe. Last season the USA was a busted pipe. The USA has continued to be competitive with the teams ranked above them. However, in matches that needed to be won and were tight late or the score was even, the USA continued to find a way to let victory slip through their grasp.
Optimist View: The team hits the ground running with other sides also rusty and they finish top 4.
Cynic View: Likely to finish 6. New coach, new systems and still struggling with their big game temperament.
RWU view: They will likely finish 5th. We believe in coach McCoy but not ready to believe the team is ready to soar immediately under her leadership.
Going Forward: The USA has a likelihood of going 2-1 then losing the first match on day two and finishing with a 2-1 record on the second day.
This is the first tournament of the tour and with no prior form to pick from, we must base it on last year’s performance. However, each nations traditional abilities and pedigree will also be factored into things.
Here are our pool previews:
New Zealand will top the group without breaking a sweat. Second should go to France but don’t be surprised if they are upset by Russia. Brazil will be outclassed in this group and finish fourth.
Canada and the USA will top this group. Considering Canada has the USA’s number, the Canucks will finish first. Fiji is locked in to third and Ireland will not have a shot against any of the other teams in this pool.
Australia will fight it out with England for the title. It is impossible to tell who will win between the two of them. Spain could finish third but after upsetting New Zealand in the final tournament last season, they may be ready to push on and become a top tier side. Newly promoted Japan will be the cannon fodder in the group.
Final standings will be:
Cup: New Zealand
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