Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: HSBC World Sevens Series: Sydney Preview

HSBC World Sevens Series: Sydney Preview

Felipe del Mestre (Argentina) scores a try during the men's 7th place playoff against Fiji.

The fourth leg of the 2019/20 HSBC World Sevens will get underway in Sydney on Saturday the 1st of February.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The World Sevens Series makes its final stop in Australasia for this season as the teams will do battle out in Sydney Australia. Series leaders New Zealand come into the tournament as hot favourites with the books after claiming last weekend's Hamilton leg. Will the New Zealanders reign supreme in their neighbour's back yard or will we see an upset 'down under'?

Sydney Sevens
Saturday 1 February - Sunday 2 February
Allianz Stadium

To Win Sydney Sevens
New Zealand 22/10
Australia 4/1
South Africa 5/1
Fiji 5/1
England 6/1
France 12/1
USA 14/1

New Zealand
2018/19 Sydney Finish: Champions
Pool Opponents: Kenya, Fiji and Wales

The Kiwis' fantastic start to the campaign continued last weekend as they secured their second tournament victory, taking the Hamilton title.

Not only do the Men in Black carry solid recent form into this but they also won the 2019 edition of the Sydney Sevens. They also happen to be the most successful team when it comes to the Australian leg of the series having won five out of the 18 events staged in their neighbours back yard.

Player to Watch: Regan Ware
The 25-year-old has been in final fettle and has 11 tries to his name thus far. He's highly likely to register another impressive try return this weekend.

South Africa
2019/20 Sydney Finish: Fifth
Pool Opponents: France, Argentina and Samoa

The Blitzboks were always going to struggle once their big names returned to Super Rugby duty and this was evident last weekend as they could only muster up a pitful tenth place finish.

Things won't get any easier for the South Africans this weekend as their poor showing in Hamilton has seen them handed a very poor seeding for Sydney and a very tough draw that sees them pooled alongside in form teams France and Argentina as well as the always dangerous Samoans.

Australia has not been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Blitzboks who have only won one of the last 11 events held in the country.

Player to Watch: Werner Kok
The Blitzboks will need Kok to be at his best this coming weekend as they lacked a bit of physicality out in New Zealand. If he's on form, then he'll give the South Africans a strong ball carrying threat.

Australia
2019/20 Sydney Finish: Sixth
Pool Opponents: Japan, Scotland and USA

The hosts will be looking to build on their impressive showing in Hamilton where they finished third.

Encouragingly for Australian Sevens fans is the fact that their side are often a major threat on home soil. The hosts have only finished outside the top four places at one of their last four home tournaments and won the 2018 edition of the Sydney Sevens.

Player to Watch: Trae Williams
The former sprinter will be out to put on a show having yet to really light up the World Series Circuit. As you'd expect, Williams posses electric pace and if he can find some rhythm then he may well be the best player n show this coming weekend.

Dark Horse

Ireland
2019/20 Sydney Finish: Ninth
Pool Opponents: England, Spain and Canada

The Irish head into the tournament off the back of finishing in 12th place in New Zealand, sixth in South Africa and 12th in Dubai. With results like that, you must be wondering why I'd even consider them as a potential outsider.

Ireland do have two things in their favour. Firstly they have been grouped in one of the more winnable pools with Spain and Canada very beatable and England a possible big scalp considering how hot and cold the Roses blow.

Secondly, the Irish have Hamilton's leading try-scorer as well as the Series leading try-scorer in the form of Jordan Conroy who has already dotted down 15 times this season.

Verdict: Australia 4/1
This is massive hit-and-hope play but I will be having a very small play on Ireland at 500/1, while my main and larger strike will be on the hosts.

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