Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: HSBC World Sevens Series: Hamilton Preview

HSBC World Sevens Series: Hamilton Preview

Branco du Preez of South Africa

The HSBC World Sevens Series returns from its month-long break this weekend and we've got you covered with our Hamilton Sevens preview.

After a few weeks of inertia, the HSBC World Sevens Series will mark its return with a bang as the world's best Sevens specialists head for Waikato for the 2020 Hamilton Sevens. The tournament promises to be an absolute cracker with home side New Zealand heading into it ass favourites with the books.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Hamilton Sevens
Saturday 25 January - Sunday 26 January
Waikato Stadium

To Win Outright
New Zealand 22/10
South Africa 26/10
Fiji 3/1
France 10/1
England 14/1
Australia 16/1
USA 18/1

Contenders

New Zealand
2018/19 Finish: Third
Pool Opponents: Scotland, USA and Wales

Sione Moila of New Zealand runs in a try
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The New Zealanders have enjoyed a fantastic start to the campaign claiming the runners-up berth in Dubai before winning the Cape Town leg. They currently sit in first spot in the overall standings, level on points with South Africa.

Home ground advantage has generally worked in the Kiwis' favour and they have won five of the last 10 tournaments in at home. They finished last year's edition of the Hamilton 10's in second-place losing the final to Fiji.

Player to Watch: Andrew Knewstubb
The back has been in solid touch this term and has already registered 63 points in just three legs of the season. He's a prolific goalkicker and also has a knack for bagging vital five-pointers.

South Africa
2018/19 Finish: Fourth
Pool Opponents: Kenya, England and Japan

Branco du Preez runs with ball in hand
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The Blitzboks will be looking to their young stars to see them to glory in Hamilton with the likes of Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith and Roskoe Specman having returned to their respective Super Rugby franchises.

Like the New Zealanders, the South Africans have enjoyed a great start to the campaign winning the opening leg in Dubai before finishing as runners-up in their own back yard.

New Zealand hasn't been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Blitzboks, who have only won one of the last 10 tournaments staged in the in Kiwi-land.

Player to Watch: Branco du Preez
The long-standing veteran missed out on the Dubai and Cape Town legs and will be eager to prove he's still capable of delivering the goods. With a number of experienced heads having returned to South Africa for Super Rugby, Du Preez' know-how will be vital.

Fiji
2018/19 Finish: Champions
Pool Opponents: Argentina, Australia and Samoa

Asaeli Tuivuaka gets ready to fend off a defender
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Fiji will be looking to kick start their campaign, and New Zealand would be an ideal place to do this as they enjoy a lot of support in the country.

The men from the Pacific endured a horrendous start to the season in Dubai but bounced back in Cape Town to claim a respectable fourth-place finish.

They are a real threat in New Zealand and have won the last two tournaments staged in the country. They also finished as runners-up back in 2017.

Player to Watch: Waisea Nacuqu
The Fijian flyer has already bagged 70 points this season and you can expect him to grab a whole lot more in New Zealand. He's a powerful runner who knows his way to the try line.

Dark Horse

France
2018/19 Finish: 14th
Pool Opponents: Ireland, Canada and Spain

French player chases down Argentinean player
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Despite losing a number of veterans, the French have been ultra-competitive this season and currently lie in third place on the overall standings.

While they do have an extremely poor record in New Zealand - they finished the last tournament way down in 14th - their easy draw means pool phase draw means they are a rather tempting proposition at 10/1.

Verdict: Fiji 3/1
The Fijians have a very healthy recent record in New Zealand and I can see them claiming their third successive Hamilton title this coming weekend.

Register Now with Hollywoodbets Mobile