Thrilling and highly competitive HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series action on day one at HSBC Canada Sevens
Australia, France, Ireland, New Zealand and USA women, along with Great Britain, Argentina, Ireland and New Zealand men end day with perfect win records
The action continues on Saturday at 10am local time (GMT-8) with the completion of the pool matches before the quarter-finals commence at 15:28
The 2023 Series continues to be the most competitive and exciting to date with Paris 2024 Olympic qualification at stake
There were upsets, draws and high drama on the first day of the HSBC Canada Sevens played in front of a passionate and vocal crowd of kids, rugby supporters and sports fans at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.
With qualification for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 resting on this season’s standings, the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 has extra significance added on, which was apparent from the opening kick-off on a fiercely competitive opening day.
For the first time ever, the top 12 women’s sevens teams in the world joined in on the fun at BC Place, and did not disappoint as they dazzled the crowd with an array of speed, skill and high-octane entertainment.
The red-hot New Zealand Black Ferns Sevens continued their impressive recent form, which includes cup victories in the last three tournaments in Cape Town, Hamilton and Sydney, outscoring their opponents 103 – 7 to sit atop Pool A after day one.
Reigning Series title holders Australia – led by Olympic gold medalist Charlotte Caslick who featured in her 250th HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series match against Japan – opened their tournament with a pair of victories to lead Pool B.
Ireland and USA took top honours in Pool A, finishing with unbeaten records while hosts Canada and Brazil struggled to join the win column.
Day two sets up three mouth-watering matches between Australia and France, New Zealand and Fiji and USA and Ireland when the pool stages conclude on Saturday.
In the men’s competition, current Series leaders New Zealand held off a fiery performance from Spain to finish the pool stages with a perfect 2-0 and will meet Samoa in a rematch of last weekend’s epic pool clash which ended in favour of the pacific islanders.
Los Angeles runners-up Argentina got their campaign off to a winning start in Pool B, while South Africa’s Ricardo Duarttee’s slotted an extra time conversion for the Blitzboks to draw level with France and complete the comeback.
Pool C provided arguably the most exciting match of the day as Uruguay picked up their first-ever win over two-time defending Olympic champions Fiji in heroic fashion. With Great Britain ending day one undefeated, Saturday’s final pool clashes will decide which two nations will advance to the quarter-finals later in the day.
Ireland cruised to the top of Pool D on day one, outscoring their opponents 85-12, while hosts Canada clinched a superb 29-12 win over Australia in the final match of the day much to the delight of their home fans.
The 2023 Series is shaping up to be the most competitive in history with the prize of Olympic Games Paris 2024 qualification on offer for the top four women’s and men’s teams in the 2023 Series standings, while hosts France have pre-qualified for next year’s pinnacle event in the nation’s capital.
New Zealand currently sit atop the men’s Series standings with 107 points, followed by Argentina and South Africa tied for second with 86 and Fiji in fourth position with 84 points through six tournaments.
New Zealand sit firmly on top of the women’s leader board with 78 points having won the last three tournaments in Sydney, Hamilton and Cape Town. Australia, the only other nation to have won a tournament in Dubai, are tied with USA at 66 points each.
Play begins at 10:00 local time (GMT-8) on Saturday with the completion of the pool matches before the quarter-finals commence at 15:28. The semi-finals and finals take place on Sunday as the race of Series glory and Olympic qualification continues.
Remaining tickets for the HSBC Canada Sevens are available from Home – Canada Sevens
Rugby sevens fans around the world can watch the action via live stream on World Rugby digital platforms including www.world.rugby, You Tube and Facebook in countries where there is no national broadcaster covering the event.