HSBC World Sevens Series: Singapore Preview


The World Sevens Series returns to Asia this coming weekend for what should be a blockbuster installment of the Singapore Sevens. 

It's rather nicely poised at the top of HSBC World Sevens Series standings with second-placed Fiji only three points off defending champions South Africa, who still sit at the top of the standings despite having only won only a solitary tournament this campaign.

With so little separating the two giants of the game, this weekend's Singapore Sevens tournament could go a long way in deciding who wins the 2017/18 series.

Singapore Sevens
Saturday 28 April - Sunday 29 April
Singapore National Stadium


To Win Outright
South Africa 5/2
Fiji 18/10
New Zealand 33/10
USA 10/1
Australia 14/1

England 33/1

The Contenders

South Africa
Pool Opponents: United States, Wales, and Japan

They may sit top of the pops but the pressure is well and truly on the South Africans with only three points separating themselves and an in-form Fiji outfit.

The Blitzboks head into this one off the back of a rather disappointing Commonwealth Games showing in which they were only able to muster up a fourth-place finish, which ensured they went home without having claimed a medal.

It's actually been a tough few months for Neil Powell's men, who haven't been able to adjust to the departure of X-factor players, Kwagga Smith and Seabelo Senatla.

Player to Watch: Selvyn Davids
The 24-year-old has bounced around the South African XV's domestic scene for quiet, without really making an impact, for the past five years. He's taken to the shortened format of the game like a fish to water, however, earning a spot in the Hong Kong Sevens Dream Team. Not a bad effort for a man on debut. My money is on him impressing out in Singapore. 

Fiji
Pool Opponents: France, Kenya, and New Zealand

The 2017/18 Sevens Circuit's form team come into this one off of yet another tournament win as they claimed first place in Hong Kong to leave them only three points off the Series-leading Blitzboks

The Fijians have been sensational of late winning three of the last four legs of the Sevens series. They seem an extremely galvanized side at the minute and responded with great gusto to their heartbreaking Commonwealth Games final defeat neighbours New Zealand.

The Fijians have been drawn in a rather difficult pool though, with New Zealand sure to give them a run for their money and Kenya being a potential banana pee. The French could also provide stiff opposition, should they decide to turn up.

Player to Watch: Jerry Tuwuai
This man embodies all that is good bout Fiji at the moment. He has the heart of a lion, and his never say die attitude has really rubbed off on the squad. The Fijians will once again lean on their talismanic skipper this weekend.

England
Pool Opponents: Australia, Argentina and Canada

Okay, so it may come as a shock to you that I've opted to go for England as one of the contenders opposed to the New Zealanders, but hear me out before you go running for the pitchforks.

The Poms are yet to win in Singapore but they have been involved in two finals going down to New Zealand in 2005 and Fiji in 2006. They also come into this one off the back of some healthy form having claimed Bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

They were off the boil in Hong Kong, however, and only took a solitary Series point from the leg. As such, there could well be a big response from the English this coming weekend. They may net you a handsome payday if they can up their game as they are currently trading at a huge price of 33/1.

Player to Watch: Dan Bibby
If England are to hit their straps again then they are going to need a big showing from their veteran playmaker. Bibby is more than capable of getting this English machine up and running again, and I would not bet against him doing just that in Singapore.

Dark Horse: Kenya
Pool Opponents: France, Kenya, and New Zealand
Now, this is a massive speculator but Singapore tends to produce shock winners with last year's edition seeing Canada claim the title and the previous year seeing Kenya claim top honours. The men from Africa have been in solid form of late finishing the last two tournaments as runners-up. They're certainly worth a punt at a mammoth 50/1.

Verdict: Fiji 18/10 & Kenya 50/1
I'm going to split my stake on this one and have a medium-sized strike on Fiji and a much-smaller wager on Kenya.

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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