Friday 5th April 2019

Event of the Day: Hong Kong Sevens

Our event of the day is the Hong Kong Sevens at the Hong Kong Stadium. The latest tournament in the World Rugby Sevens Series presents an opportunity for the USA to extend their lead at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Fiji will look to win their fifth consecutive tournament title in Hong Kong, as the series begins to heat up. Be sure you don’t miss the start of this tournament. The World Rugby Sevens Series moves to the season’s blue ribbon event in Hong Kong today. The USA hold a seven-point lead at the top of the standings. They finished runner-up in the first four tournaments of the series before breaking out at Las Vegas, winning the tournament with a 27-0 victory over Samoa, before securing fourth place in Vancouver at the most recent tournament of the series. This puts them ahead of New Zealand, who have only managed two third places, a fourth and a fifth place finish outside of their two tournament wins. For the US, they could not ask for more from star winger Carlin Isles. The Ohio-born, 29-year-old speedster has proven to be almost untouchable through the competition, scoring a series-leading thirty-two tries and sitting in fourth on the overall points table with 160. At the other end of the table, with four tournaments left to play, there are three teams fighting to avoid relegation from the 15-team core. Japan currently sits in the relegation position with fourteen points with Kenya and Wales above them on eighteen. Japan joined the core teams after promotion in the 2017-18 qualifying tournament and will not want to be relegated after a single season.

However, they have failed to perform in their main events. They finished fifteenth in South Africa, Las Vegas and New Zealand; fourteenth in Dubai and Canada, with a surprise tenth place finish in Sydney. Despite that, Japan need things to change if they want to remain amongst the core teams. At the Hong Kong event, Fiji are the four-time defending champions and will pose a threat, given their third place standing and two tournament wins this season. In the main tournament, the US will try to move past one of the easier pools in the tournament while all eyes will be on the pool featuring New Zealand and Fiji  Also in Hong Kong will be the qualifying tournament to determine who will be promoted to the 15-team core. Russia, who were relegated from the core teams at the end of 2017-18 will look to return to the main competition. However, they will face a challenge from Zimbabwe, who are one of the fan favourite teams in the qualifying tournament. Be sure you don’t miss any of the action today and over the weekend. 

Honourable mentions around the globe go to County Championship Division One cricket, where the 2019 season begins. Nottinghamshire host Yorkshire at Trent Bridge. Neither team shone last season and both are several years removed from their last championship. However, the match does see England legend Stuart Broad face England captain Joe Root. The teammates will surely try to outdo one another in what will surely be an unmissable opening day of English cricket action. Elsewhere, in the Premier League, Southampton host Liverpool at St. Mary’s Stadium. Liverpool once again trail Manchester City in the standings as the two teams compete in one of the closest Premier League races of the modern era. Liverpool need every win to stay competitive with the defending champions. Be sure you don’t miss this must-win match for the Reds. On the Ladies European Tour, the Jordan Mixed Open continues at the Ayla Golf Club in Aqaba. The Final Four of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament takes place at the Amalie Arena in Tampa. Baylor faces Oregon and Notre Dame are set to play Connecticut. In the NRL, the New Zealand Warriors host the Gold Coast Titans at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland. On the WTA Tour, the Abierto GNP Serguros continues at Club Sonoma in Monterrey.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by World Rugby Sevens; Hong Kong Sevens

 

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