The first HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series men’s action since January certainly did not disappoint with thrilling matches, last minute victories and stunning tries on day one of the fifth round of the Series at the National Stadium in Singapore.
USA, South Africa, Australia, Samoa, New Zealand, Argentina, Fiji and Ireland have made it through to Sunday’s Cup quarter-finals in what promises to be another outstanding day of world class action at the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens.
In the last game of the day in Pool A, USA speedster Perry Baker scored in the final seconds to end South Africa’s incredible winning streak of 36 matches stretching back to last season. Australia, New Zealand and the USA topped their pools with perfect win records on day one of the. While Olympic champions Fiji and fellow pacific islanders Samoa also qualified for the quarter-finals on their first Series appearances of the year.
USA’s winning try was set-up by a superb offload by Dmontae Noble and Perry Baker went over with the clock in the red to see his side come out on top 12-7 and bring to an end the second longest winning streak in Series history. Earlier on Saturday Ireland defeated Fiji for the first time ever after two Jordan Conroy tries and an excellent individual score from Terry Kennedy sealed a 21-12 victory for the Irish.
Fiji bounced back to win their next two matches, a scintillating 26-19 victory over France, followed by a 62-0 thrashing of a tired Japan, Fiji setting their new record Series winning margin by running in ten unanswered tries and making a statement that they are back in business after missing the last two rounds.
For rugby sevens fans it was exciting to see 2020 Series title winners New Zealand get their Series campaign underway, winning three from three to top Pool B and looking like they had never been away.
Australia were in impressive form to win pool C with a trio of victories, overcoming Samoa 26-17, before beating Spain 28-12 and putting an under-par England to the sword by a 40-0 scoreline. South Africa will be looking to recover from Saturday’s defeat as they face Fiji in a mouthwatering quarter-final clash on Sunday and they will be aiming to repeat their title winning performance the last time Singapore hosted the Series in 2019.
The Blitzboks have been in unstoppable form so far in the 2022 Series with four consecutive tournament victories to lead the Series standings with a maximum of 88 points.
The finals day commences at 11:00 local time (GMT+8) on Sunday with Wales v England. The cup quarter-finals begin at 12:28, with Australia v Argentina followed by Fiji v South Africa, New Zealand v Samoa, and USA v Ireland. The cup semi-finals take place at 16:13 and the gold medal match kicks off at 19:27 (all times local).
Photo Credit: HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens
HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens 2022 runs from 9th to 10th April 2022 at the National Stadium. Tickets available here The full activity list is available here For the full schedule of HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens, please refer here