Dublin-Ireland, Feb 10, 2012: USA Sevens Las Vegas ‘Friday night football’ heralded a success, – 2016 Olympic hosts Brazil revel in return to World Series.
New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, South Africa, Kenya and England all remain unbeaten after the opening day of action at the USA Sevens, round five of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Las Vegas.
Of those sides, New Zealand, Samoa, Kenya and England are mathematically guaranteed a place in the Cup quarter finals.
P=Played; W=Won; D=Draw; L=Lost; PF=Points For; PA=Points Against;PD=Points Difference; TF=Tries For; TA=Tries Against; TD=Tries Difference;PTS=Points
In a changed format for the USA round of the Series, each of the 16 teams played two of their three pool matches on Friday evening at the Sam Boyd Stadium.
On Saturday they will play their remaining pool match and then a quarter final in either the Cup or the Bowl, leaving the climax of the knock-out competition on Sunday, 12 February.
“We’ve been delighted with our first ‘Friday night football’ at the USA Sevens. These international Sevens players are incredible athletes and they’ve already laid on some spectacular action for the fans,” said USA Sevens Tournament Director, Dan Lyle. “We can now look forward to a packed weekend of action, starting on Saturday when we’ll see the pools decided and the start of the knock-outs, guaranteeing more giant clashes for the fans.”
After the first four rounds of the World Series – in Australia, Dubai, South Africa and New Zealand – the kiwis lead the overall Series with 73 points, ahead of Fiji on 70. England lie third on 64 overall three ahead of South Africa in fourth.
One notable inclusion in the USA Sevens draw was Brazil, host nation for the 2016 Olympic Games, where Sevens will make its debut. The Brazilians put in competitive performances against Series regulars England and Kenya. “It’s a good experience, we’ve been looking forward to competing at this high level.
Brazil really needs this sort of competition and hopefully one day we’ll get to the right spot,” said Brazil coach, Martin Schusterman.
“They show a lot of passion for the game when they practice and they also show that on the pitch. We’ve brought a lot of youngsters in order to gain experience looking ahead to 2016 and the union is doing a lot of work to grow the sport’s grass roots in Brazil.”
At the end of day one, rights-free photos are available for download and use, as well as audio with Brazil, who have returned to the Series for the first time since 2002. Photo: IRB