The finale of the Rugby 7s season will be played in Paris this weekend and we have a nail biter on our hands! After successfully defending their London title, Fiji leapfrogged the USA in the standings to 164 points, 2 ahead of the Americans. So it’s game on in France between these two sides as they look to be crowned the 2018/2019 Rugby 7s champion. The action begins on Saturday night and the Final will be played on Monday morning.
England, Ireland and Argentina can count themselves as unlucky in the Pool draw as they’ve been matched up against Fiji. As mentioned the Fijians are leading the standings by 2 points and they’re at unbackable odds to win Pool A at this stage. In London, Ireland reached the Pool stage with just a 4 point difference against England. So it’s fair to say, the England and Ireland rivalry matchup in Paris will be one to watch. Argentina has underperformed this season and it’s hard to see that changing in this series.
Fiji WIN - No Value Bet
Pool B features South Africa up against Australia once again and the South African’s will be out for revenge. Australia staged a massive upset in the London Quarters with a 29-22 result on their way to a brilliant run to the final. Ultimately, they were no match for Fiji in the final (43-7), but they’ll be keen to end this series with a bang as they prepare for next season and the 2020 Olympics. South Africa is an up and down team at the moment so Australia does offer the best value in this Pool.
With a 2 point gap separating the USA and Fiji, the Americans are likely going to come out in the Pool stages with some big wins. Samoa had a poor outing in London, losing all 3 pool games and they’ve been a bit down since finishing 2nd in Las Vegas. Canada enjoyed some good moments in London but were no match for their American rivals in the Quarters. So it’s hard to back against the USA not winning this Pool with a 3-0 record.
USA WIN - No Value Bet
New Zealand will be looking to end a four series drought of finishing outside the top three as they take favouritism into Pool D. But the French will be a tough side to play, especially as the host nation. France defeated the Kiwis in their London Quarterfinal matchup and they were close to reaching the final, losing 31-24 in the Semis. Scotland and Japan are just making up the numbers. So in a likely battle between France and New Zealand for the top spot, France are good value if they can replicate their form just last week.
Looking back to 2018, South Africa defeated England in the France final 24-14. However, both sides have tough Pool stages this time around and I think the winner can only come from either Fiji or the USA. It’s likely their matchup will unfortunately not be played in the final as the first team in Pool A (Fiji) will play first in Pool C (USA) during the Semi-finals. In London last week, the exact same matchup occurred and Fiji triumphed with a 17-10 scoreline. They crushed Australia in the final and I expect them to be the toughest team to play against once again, especially with a 2 point lead in the standings. There’s also extra motivation for Fiji considering they lost last season’s series by 2 points to South Africa.
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