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Thread: Hong Kong draw announced

  1. #1
    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    Jan 2008

    Hong Kong draw announced

    Friday 15th February 2008

    The draw has been made and the pools and schedule announced for the 2008 Hong Kong Sevens, the fifth event in the IRB Sevens World Series, to be played on 28/29 March.

    Runaway series leaders and defending champions New Zealand top the seedings and will start as strong favourites to land the 30 points on offer for the Cup Champions.

    The 24 sides will also compete for a US$150,000 prize purse.

    New Zealand head pool A in the competition and will play matches on days one and two against the improving US Eagles, Tunisia and Chinese Taipei.

    Defending Hong Kong Sevens champions Samoa are second seeds and face the challenge of four-time Hong Kong champions England, as well as Canada and Sri Lanka in pool B.

    South Africa are third seeds after making their first final of the season in San Diego at the USA Sevens. They face Argentina, Russia and Japan in pool C.

    Eleven times winners Fiji top pool D, where they will play Wales, the victors in the Hong Kong Plate for the last two seasons, Korea and Zimbabwe, who return to the Hong Kong Sevens after a 10-year absence.

    San Diego Cup semi-finalists Kenya top pool E and face number eight seeds Scotland as well as Portugal and China.

    Sixth seeds Australia, winners of the Shield in San Diego, face arguably the most competitive pool of all against Wellington semi-finalists Tonga, France and the popular and ever-improving Hong Kong.

    New Zealand currently lie 32 points clear of their closest rivals South Africa in the series standings after winning all four opening events of the IRB Sevens World Series for the first time.

    Their two title victories in London and Edinburgh at the end of last season mean that the Kiwis have now gone 36 matches unbeaten in all competitions.

    "There's no denying that New Zealand have been a class apart so far this season and look to be streaking away with their series title defence," said IRB Sevens Manager Beth Coalter.

    "That said, the Hong Kong tournament does tend to attract some big name Sevens players, so I'm sure they won't have it all their own way.

    "With the 30 points on offer to the winner, there will be several teams keen to narrow the gap, and there is always the challenge to be the first team to beat New Zealand and end their current record unbeaten run," Coalter added.

    Hong Kong draw format

    The top 12 participating teams were seeded based on their results in the previous two IRB Sevens World Series tournaments with one playing 12, two playing 11 and so on.

    The remaining teams were then seeded or placed in the draw based on their performances in IRB Sevens World Series events, other IRB-ratified tournaments and their final standings - where relevant - in the 2006/07 Series.

    All seeds were ratified by the IRB.

    Hong Kong Sevens Pools:

    Pool A: New Zealand, USA, Tunisia, Chinese Taipei
    Pool B: Samoa, England, Canada, Sri Lanka
    Pool C: South Africa, Argentina, Russia, Japan
    Pool D: Fiji, Wales, Zimbabwe, Korea
    Pool E: Kenya, Portugal, Scotland, China
    Pool F: Australia, Tonga, France, Hong Kong

    Hong Kong draw announced - Rugby News, Results, Fixtures and Features from

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    Veteran zimeric's Avatar
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    GO ZIM!!!!!!

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