HSBC World Sevens Series: London Preview


The HSBC World Sevens Series field will head for London this weekend for the penultimate stop on this season's tour. 

The Blitzboks have been left with the unenviable task of playing catch-up to an inform Fiji side who captured yet another 2017/8 tournament victory out in Singapore last weekend. As such, the Fijians take a modest four-point lead into the final two rounds of the season.


To Win Tournament Outright
Fiji
South Africa
New Zealand
England

Australia

Contenders

South Africa
The Blitzboks really do need to ensure they finish in the top three here as a finish outside of those positions would hand Fiji a massive advantage heading into the next week's final stop in Paris. Of course, the Fijians themselves would have to finish in the top two to nail home that advantage, but with the form the Islanders are in, I can't see them faltering.

London hasn't been the happiest hunting ground for the Blitzboks in the recent past with their last tournament victory coming back in 2011 where they beat Fiji 24-14 in the final. Since then, the South Africans have only made the 2016 final, where they went down 27-26 to Scotland.

Fiji
It certainly has been a terrific couple months for the Fijians who have won the last three tournaments on the series. This three-tournament winning streak has seen them move four points clear of the Blitzboks on the standings and means the Islanders head into the final two legs of the Series in the driver's seat.

The Fijian's, like the South Africans, haven't exactly hit the lights out in England either last tournament victory coming in 2012 where they beat neighbours Samoa 38-15. This was the last time Fiji made a final in England as well.

England 
The hosts have endured an extremely underwhelming season and are yet to win a tournament. They have been runners-up twice this year though, with their second silver medal coming in the last tournament held in Singapore.

The English last won on home soil back in 2009. They did manage to make last year's final, however, where they went down 12-7 to archrivals Scotland.

Dark Horse

Scotland
The 'Scots really do love the London Sevens with the men in Tartan winning the last two tournaments. They may stuggle to complete the hattrick, however, as they have struggled this season and are yet to make a final.

I would have a small strike on this one as there's way too much value to ignore they reigning champions. I think it is highly unlikely that lightning will strike for a third time though.

Verdict: Fiji
I'm backing the Fijians to end their barren streak in England. They were a cut above before the Series went into hiatus and I can see them picking up from where they left off. 

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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