Australia hold-off huge French fight-back to claim back-to-back titles with 29-26 win in epic women’s final, while Argentina produce dominant display to beat Australia 45-12 in men’s final.
- Australia women and Argentina men win HSBC SVNS Cape Town titles
- Australia hold-off huge French fight-back to claim back-to-back titles with 29-26 win in epic women’s final
- Argentina produce dominant display to beat Australia 45-12 in men’s final
- Bronze medals for Fiji men and New Zealand women
- Australia and Argentina lead the men’s and women’s HSBC SVNS 2024 standings respectively after two rounds
- HSBC SVNS 2024 continues in Perth, Australia on 26-28 January, tickets are available now from com
Australia claimed a first-ever Cape Town title, and their second HSBC SVNS 2024 victory in a row, with a gutsy 29-26 win over France in an epic women’s final to cue ecstatic celebrations.
The men’s final was a more one-sided affair as Argentina produced a dominant display to overcome Australia by a 45-12 scoreline to secure their first title in Cape Town.
Double Olympic champions Fiji secured the men’s bronze medal with a hard fought 14-7 win over Ireland while reigning HSBC SVNS title holders New Zealand had to settle for bronze with a 19-7 defeat of USA.
The results in Cape Town see Argentina lead the men’s HSBC SVNS standings on 38 points, followed by South Africa and Fiji on 30 points. Australia lead the women’s standings with a perfect 40 points, ahead of France and New Zealand on 34 points each.
Dubai champions Australia added the Cape Town crown to their sevens collection on Sunday – but they did it the hard way, after Maddison Levi was sent off for a high tackle at the end of the first-half.
They had raced into a 22-0 lead in the first six minutes, before Les Bleues’ got on the scoreboard. But a double for Anne-Cecile Ciofani in the extended first half, and a third for Carla Neisen pulled France back to within three. Kaitlin Shave then put Australia out of sight, just as Levi had in Dubai the previous Sunday, despite Joanna Grisez’s late, late score.
The victory means Australia head to the next round on home turf in Perth on 26-28 January looking for a hat-trick of titles.
Winning captain Charlotte Caslick said: “It was a really gutsy effort, finishing the game with only six players. We played France last week and also had a red card. To do that two weeks in a row it was just so brave from the girls.
“We love coming to Cape Town, so to win here and go back to back – we haven’t done that for a really long time – it’s set our season up really well.”
Caslick and Isabelle Nasser had earlier both scored twice in the semi-final, as Australia eased into the final with a 33-7 win over USA; after making it 15 quarter-final wins in the last 16 appearances with their 29th victory in a row over Ireland, a 24-14 result.
On an action-packed finals day in Cape Town, New Zealand’s Michaela Blyde became the second woman in sevens history to reach the 200 try mark, but a week after their 41-match winning streak was ended by Australia in Dubai, the Black Ferns were outperformed by France in the semi-finals at Cape Town Stadium.
France held off a ferocious New Zealand fightback, even scoring a desperately needed try when reduced to six players, to win just a third sevens series semi-final in their history, as they beat the Black Ferns’ 24-12.
Tries from Anne-Cecile Ciofani, Chloe Jacquet and Lili Dezou were enough to get them to the final four, despite a late try from Fiji’s Reapi Ulunisau, which dragged the scores back to 19-17.
Argentina claimed the HSBC SVNS 2024 series crown in Cape Town with a clinical win over Australia, a week after losing to South Africa in the final in Dubai.
It was a fitting end to a weekend in which Los Pumas Sevens veteran Gastón Revol played his 100th tournament, and German Schulz scored his 100th international sevens try as the South American squad laid down a marker with a first-ever win in South Africa.
Argentina were just too good for Australia as they added Cape Town gold to the silver they won in Dubai a week previously.
German Schulz opened the scoring with a long run-in, with Santiago Mare, Marcos Moneta and Matías Osadczuk also touching down in the first seven minutes as Australia struggled to keep pace with Los Pumas in the first period.
Australia finally got on the scoreboard in the second half, as Nathan Lawson and Dietrich Roache cut the deficit. But player of the final Osadczuk’s second, his fourth in Cape Town, settled matters.
Tomas Elizalde and captain Santiago Alvarez’s late scores were the icing on the cake, as they rounded off the tournament with a 45-12 win.
“I love, too, the way they play,” Los Pumas Sevens coach and former player Santiago Gomez Cora said. “We said they’re crazy because you put all the passion – they know how to play, obviously – they are a team that feel the way that they play. They’re a little crazy to play in that way.
“We’re very happy because we feel at home here at Cape Town. They support us, so thank you very much, everyone – hope to see you next time.”
Los Pumas Sevens had reached the final for the ninth time since Seville 2022, with an organised win over 26-19 win over Ireland. The scoreline would have been more convincing had the Irish not run in two scores in the final minute, when the match was already lost.
James Turner described Australia’s 24-7 semi-final win over Fiji to reach their first-ever sevens final in South Africa as “pretty special”.
“We definitely had a slower start last week, and this week we really wanted to aim up,” he said.
Earlier, Argentina’s Schulz had dived spectacularly under the posts to score his 100th sevens try as Los Pumas eased past day one’s surprise package Canada 33-0 in their last-eight match.
There was a special moment on Sunday as three of the triumphant Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks, Damian Willemse, Deon Fourie and Manie Libbok, thrilled the Cape Town crowd during one of the breaks on an action-packed day, bringing the Webb Ellis Cup to show off to roaring fans at the DHL Stadium.
“It’s an awesome vibe out there and it’s awesome sharing the trophy with the people once again and seeing all the joy on people’s faces,” said Libbok afterwards. “You never get tired of it and if I can bring a smile to a young child’s face, and give them hope and inspire them – and adults as well, that’s everything for me. That’s why we do it – to bring joy to the people and to our country.”
Speaking about the incredible entertainment on offer at the HSBC SVNS Cape Town over the weekend, the fly-half added: “It’s nice to be here – with the DJing and the music, the rugby and entertainment on the field as well, and the skills on show. It’s such an awesome vibe. Sevens always produces an awesome experience, awesome tournament. It’s definitely something that I like to watch because of all the entertainment and all the things going on around the field.”
The HSBC SVNS 2024, World Rugby’s revamped and rebranded global celebration of rugby sevens, is taking place across eight iconic destinations and is set to supercharge the sport’s global appeal.
The new look HSBC SVNS 2024 features seven regular season events – in Dubai, Cape Town, Perth, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Singapore – before the Grand Final in Madrid. The top eight placed teams based on cumulative series points after seven events will compete in the new ‘winner takes all’ Grand Final, where the women’s and men’s SVNS champions will be crowned.
Fans can watch the HSBC SVNS action wherever you are in the world, either via broadcaster partners or online on Rugby Pass TV and it was a record-breaking weekend for live viewing hours on Rugby Pass TV, driven by SVNS viewing in UK, France and USA, surpassing the Rugby World Cup final weekend and demonstrating the growing appetite for rugby sevens around the globe.
HSBC SVNS events are bringing the ultimate in immersive experiences, a unique festival of sport, entertainment, music, culture and cuisine alongside the world’s best men’s and women’s athletes set against the spectacular backdrops of some of the most stunning locations around the globe.
Speaking from Cape Town, World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “We’re thrilled to have welcomed more than 80,000 people across the two days here in the magnificent Cape Town stadium, it’s great to be back here.
“Really what you’re seeing is sevens being slightly reborn, absolutely with the sport at the heart of what we’re doing, but attracting fans in a different way, a slightly younger demographic by providing a lot more entertainment and a lot more fun around what we’re doing with rugby sevens.
World Rugby’s Director of Experiential Greta Cooper explained: “Rugby will always remain at the heart of everything we do but we’re tapping into the passion points and what 18 to 34-year-olds really engage with. We’re doing that through food and drink, music and entertainment, and health and wellness.”
“Sevens does a job for rugby that other parts of the sport don’t do,” added Gilpin. “It definitely entertains in a different way. All over the world it attracts new fans to rugby that 15s doesn’t necessarily do so redialing up that part of sevens that does that – not just great action on the field with some amazing athletes as we’ve seen, but all the things we can do around that to keep people entertained for a full weekend. That’s a really important role for Sevens and yes, we’re off to a great start but there’s lots more work to do.”
Perth will host HSBC SVNS rugby sevens for the very first time and players and fans can look forward to three sun-soaked days and buzz-filled nights complete with live music, DJ’s, global food, cocktail bars, and much more on 26-28 January, 2024 at HBF Park. The pools for the third round of HSBC SVNS 2024 in Perth will be drawn in January and tickets are available now from only 35 dollars at svns.com