How to stop snubbings like we saw at the Hong Kong Sevens

Gavin Cohen Roar Rookie

By Gavin Cohen, Gavin Cohen is a Roar Rookie

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    The Hong Kong Sevens is the flagship of the sevens circuit, having been founded in 1976. Yet this year’s tournament was snubbed, with South Africa sending a B team along, as they were targeting the Commonwealth Games sevens.

    On further inspection, I found that not only South Africa but New Zealand, England and Australia sent light teams as well.

    Although the Blitzbokke’s depth was far greater than that of New Zealand, England and Aussie, what went down still leaves a bad taste. Kenya would have beaten the Blitzbokke in the final had they got there!

    The bright side was for being able to see talent that would not have otherwise been on display, however I am against sending a B team with a B team coach.

    I do not have an issue with particular players standing down to focus on the Comm Games – yes it’s sad, but I understand they have bigger aspirations. However, there is both the Commonwealth Games as well as the World Cup year, which is silly – why not have them in alternate years? It canot be that difficult to organise.

    Lastly, it’s time to take the sevens series to size-orientated stadiums. Sure, the Cape Town sevens is a full house, booked up around six months before the date, but playing in big stadiums that are not full is not a clever option. Rather, have them in a full 10,000-seater.

    The sevens is a great product, but the organisers can’t sit back and think it will work on its own – do your research, grow the game and give more teams a chance to show their wears.

    Finally, they must allocate importance to certain tournaments, much like tennis, where Grand Slams are top ranked, then the 1000 series, followed by 500 and 250 series. Having this in the sevens series would give the bigger teams a choice as to which ones they want to attend, and allow fringe teams like Zimbabwe, Ireland, Japan and Russia regular invites to smaller evenst.
    Doing so will eliminate snubbing.

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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • Roar Guru

      April 12th 2018 @ 4:49am
      Corne Van Vuuren said | April 12th 2018 @ 4:49am | ! Report

      It may have been B teams, but thetournament was still very entertaining.

    • April 12th 2018 @ 6:43am
      Ex force fan said | April 12th 2018 @ 6:43am | ! Report

      As a Blitzbok supporter I enjoyed the Hong Kong sevens and the young guns showing what they can do. Selwin Davids is clearly ready to step up to take Africa’s role as playmaker. Looking forward to this weekends Commonwealth games and Singapore sevens that my wife and I will attend. South Africa has been fielding half a B-side in the past few tournaments due to a horrific injury toll anyway.

    • April 12th 2018 @ 8:16am
      BrainsTrust said | April 12th 2018 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      I am a little bit mystified, surely the big issue is why are the Commonwealth games and Hong Kong sevens scheduled at the same time. In terms of precendence the Commonwealth games is second to the Olympics.

      • April 12th 2018 @ 8:24am
        i miss the force said | April 12th 2018 @ 8:24am | ! Report

        no its not

        • April 12th 2018 @ 9:01am
          cantab said | April 12th 2018 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          Sorry mate, but it is. hence all the teams excepct Fiji sent their ‘b’ team.

          • April 12th 2018 @ 10:24am
            Muzzo said | April 12th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

            Not ALL, the teams cantab, as quite a few had their top players, especially the non Com.nations teams. Fiji actually got it right, as Jerry Tuwai, made it known.

          • April 12th 2018 @ 5:26pm
            cuw said | April 12th 2018 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

            Canada and Kenya had their A team – of the few i saw .

            the reason they had to send B teams is becoz of the gap among HK 7S , CG and the Singapore 7S is small.

            HK 7S – April 6 – 8

            CG 7S – April 14 – 15

            SGP 7S – April 28 – 29

            normally a break of one month is given after 2 legs of the word series.

            because of this congestion , the London leg will be in June 2 -3.

            seems noone wants to talk and adjust their schedules. despite all the talk about player welfare and growing the game ….

    • April 12th 2018 @ 8:29am
      bazza said | April 12th 2018 @ 8:29am | ! Report

      Commonwealth games is a big deal in rugby has many strong nations.

      • April 12th 2018 @ 8:58am
        i miss the force said | April 12th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

        the french, italians, japanese, americans, argentnians dont care. aclub based on being a former part of a british empire 100 years ago aint important

        • April 12th 2018 @ 5:39pm
          cuw said | April 12th 2018 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

          its certainly not the 7S world cup

          San Francisco , USA – July 20 – 22

          Kenya
          South Africa
          United States (Hosts)
          England
          France
          Wales
          Australia
          Fiji
          New Zealand (Holders)
          Canada
          Argentina
          Scotland
          Samoa
          Uganda
          Zimbabwe
          Jamaica
          Uruguay
          Chile
          Hong Kong
          Japan
          Ireland
          Russia
          Papua New Guinea
          Tonga

      • April 13th 2018 @ 7:30am
        Muzzo said | April 13th 2018 @ 7:30am | ! Report

        True baize, it does have many strong nations, but it is not a global event.

        • April 13th 2018 @ 7:31am
          Muzzo said | April 13th 2018 @ 7:31am | ! Report

          bazza .

    • April 12th 2018 @ 10:19am
      Muzzo said | April 12th 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

      Totally agree Gavin, as it goes to show that, in truth, there is no communication, between World Rugby & Com games, organisers. As it is the Com games, is really showing how pathetic, their organisers are, with a continuing saga of daily stuff ups.
      To have a global competition, virtually stopped in favour, of the Com. games is pathetic. Like the British Com Games, is not a global event, it’s just for member nations of the old British Empire, to attend. About 70 countries all up. To take top players away from, an event that is the pearl of Rugby Seven’s tournaments, in an ongoing global series, really doesn’t make any sense at all.
      As it was, it was great to see the emerging talent that was on display, talent that should have been on display at the Com. games. IMO, organisers, need to communicate far better than what they have. Hopefully that will happen.

    • Roar Guru

      April 12th 2018 @ 10:30am
      Rugby Fan said | April 12th 2018 @ 10:30am | ! Report

      The Games has a big attraction for sevens players. James Stannard is more upset at being forced to miss the Gold Coast than he is a round of the Sevens circuit.

      Most of the top sevens nations qualify to send teams. Only USA, Argentina and France are missing. Unlike the Olympics, England, Scotland, and Wales play separately, so it’s a unique occasion for those sides. This is also the first year a womens sevens tournament will be held, so it’s a good showcase for the sport.

      Winning an Olympic or Commonwealth Games medal has a currency outside rugby. Just taking part, lets you rub shoulders with elite athletes from other sports, which is a unique career experience for the players.

      The Commonwealth Games doesn’t always clash with the Rugby calendar, it depends on the venue. When held in Australia and New Zealand, it takes place early in the year and overlaps with the sevens series. Other venues hold the games later in the year, anywhere from July to October.

      Similarly, the Sevens World Cup venue determines when that event is held. San Francisco this year puts it in July, but Hong Kong and Dubai hosted it in March, while Edinburgh had it in April. The World Cup host is usually selected after the Commonwealth Games dates are known, so there is some scope for flexibility.

      Unfortunately, the rugby calendar is just too full. The annual rugby sevens series is an international competition but it’s more akin to the sport’s club level. It’s common to see Northern Hemisphere club teams play on in their respective leagues, while their international players go away on Test duty. This year’s Hong Kong sevens felt a bit like that. As biltongbek says, it didn’t suffer as a spectacle.

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