We recap all the action from day one of the second and final tournament of the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2023 in Stellenbosch, South Africa as the quarter-final line-ups begin to take shape in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
- South Africa, Belgium, Czechia and China women finish day one with perfect win records
- Chile, Germany, Uganda, Hong Kong China and Belgium men are undefeated on Friday
- Winner of women’s competition to secure Sevens World Series entry
- Men’s competition winner to enter a four-team play-off at the HSBC London Sevens in May 2023 with the winner achieving the coveted Sevens World Series 2024 status
- Day two kicks off at 09:00 (GMT+2) on Saturday
Nine teams ended day one of the second event of the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2023 with perfect win records as both men’s and women’s quarter-finals begin to take shape in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
South Africa, Belgium, Czechia and China women booked their spots in the last eight by winning all of their matches in their respective pools.
In the men’s competition, Chile, who provided a sensational last-second victory over opening tournament champions Tonga, finished day one undefeated alongside Germany, Uganda, Hong Kong China and Belgium to qualify for Saturday’s quarter-finals.
The final pool matches will be played on Saturday from 09:00 local time (GMT+2), before the knockout stages get underway at 13:54.
WOMEN’S DAY ONE RECAP:
Poland were held to a 17-17 draw by Hong Kong China in the opening match of the second event of the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2023. Poland, who finished the opening event in fourth position, came back strong in their second match, scoring seven tries to beat Mexico 39-7.
On Field B, Czechia ran in four tries to defeat Colombia 24-17 and continued to overpower their opposition as they won 15-10 against Papua New Guinea, securing the maximum points for the day with two victories.
China recorded a convincing 43-7 victory over Mexico and continued their try-scoring fest in their second match, going over the whitewash five times against a Hong Kong China team that could not get on the scoreboard. The game ended 29-0.
Belgium made it two from two wins to go top of Pool E. Victories over Papua New Guinea and Colombia guaranteed last weekend’s silver medalists a spot in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
Ayanda Malinga scored twice as the opening round champions and hosts South Africa women kicked off their weekend with a 29-0 win over Paraguay. In the final match of the day, the hosts took on their African rivals Madagascar. Despite scoring first, Madagascar suffered a 19-5 defeat at the hands of a confident Springbok Women’s Sevens side.
Hong Kong China will begin the day’s proceeding on day two when they take on Mexico at 09:00 local time on Field A, while Colombia play Papua New Guinea on Field B.
The ultimate prize at stake for the tournament winners in the women’s competition, which will be decided on aggregate points over the two events, is a promotion to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2024 as the 12th and final team.
MEN’S DAY ONE RECAP:
Uganda’s Aaron Ofoyrwoth scored twice as the African champions beat Brazil 31-7 in the men’s opening match on day one. Uganda then played Korea in their second Pool B encounter, winning 26-7 to guarantee a place in the last eight.
Opening round finalists Germany continued their great form from last weekend when they scored eight tries to defeat Korea 48-0 and four more against Brazil, winning 28-10 in Pool B.
Chile kicked off their second campaign with a 19-14 win over Italy and provided the upset of the day, defeating opening-round champions Tonga 22-19 to close out the afternoon.
The Chileans led 17-0 at half-time, but Tonga fought back in the opening minutes of the second half with two quick tries from Siaosi Huihui followed by another from Kyren Toumoefolau to give them the lead for the first time.
The Pacific Island nation were, however, unable to hold on for the victory, with Chile’s Jose Escobedo scoring the winner at the death.
In Pool B, Hong Kong China and Belgium won both their matches to qualify for the quarter-finals scheduled to take place on Saturday in Stellenbosch.
The two teams bowed out of the first round in the semi-finals and will be looking at going all the way to the final this weekend, for a chance to be crowned the overall Challenger Series winner.
The men’s final pool matches continue on Saturday at Markötter Stadium. Zimbabwe will play against Papua New Guinea, while Brazil takes on Korea in a Pool B encounter with both matches kicking off at 10:16 local time.
The winner of the men’s competition, which will also be decided on aggregate points over the two events, will enter a four-team play-off at the HSBC London Sevens in May together with the teams placed 12th to 14th after 10 rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023.
The winner of the playoff will achieve the coveted Sevens World Series 2024 status.
HOW TO WATCH >>
Fans around the world can watch the matches through the links below, while rights-free images are available via the World Rugby Media Zone.