The Rugby 7s series continues to Hong Kong this weekend at Hong Kong Stadium. The action begins on Friday night and the final will be played on Sunday night. Fiji is the defending title holder at this venue and they’ll be looking for an incredible 5th straight series victory in Hong Kong. Looking at this season standings, the USA is sitting on top after 6 series with 113 points. New Zealand is just behind on 106 and Fiji rounds out the top three with 101 points.
Pool A starts with South Africa as the warm favourite as they're coming off a series victory in Vancouver. It was their first series win of the season and that'll give them confidence in Hong Kong. Samoa will be their toughest opponent as they come off a second place finish in Las Vegas. They also topped Pool B in Vancouver, which included Fiji. Scotland will likely beat Japan but will struggle against the top two sides. Japan is just making up the numbers here. In the end, Samoa does offer good value to win this Pool but South Africa are the form side and it's hard to back against them.
Pool B looks like an even affair between Argentina and the improved French side. France produced a stunning result in Vancouver as they reached the final against South Africa. They lost the final 21-12 but it was a great achievement and hopefully, that flows onto the Hong Kong series. Argentina has been pretty inconsistent this season so France offers good value in this Pool.
In Pool C, the rivalry between Fiji and New Zealand will continue as they battle for top spot. The two sides played in the Vancouver Quarters and Fiji closed out a 22-21 thrilling win. Fiji is the defending champions and they should be desperate to win this series as they sit 12 points behind the USA for the #1 spot with 3 series left after this one. Australia failed to finish in the top 2 of their pool in the last series and this could be the same outcome. But they will play hard against New Zealand as usual. Kenya is the weakest team in this Pool and will likely finish last. In the end, Fiji is the best play in Pool C.
The last Pool consists of the #1 team USA, England, Spain and Wales. The USA lead New Zealand in the rankings by 7 points and a good performance in Hong Kong will help their cause for a season victory. In Vancouver, they were surprised by the French in the Semi Final as they went down 33-5. They also met England in the Quarters and in a close affair, the USA came out on top 21-19. England had a shocker in Hong Kong last season, earning just a single point. However, they should finish 2nd in this Pool with victories against Spain and Wales. Both Spain and Wales went 1-2 in Vancouver so they could produce an upset. But the USA is looking strong in this Pool.
Fiji has an incredible record at the Hong Kong 7s as they've won the last four series here very comfortably. In fact since 2012, they hold a 6-1 record and the only other country to win was New Zealand. So it's hard to back against that record and there's also extra motivation for Fiji in 2019. They're 12 points behind the USA in the standings and with 4 series left, they could bridge the gap in Hong Kong.
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