There is no easy route to the Finals of any IRB Sevens competition, and the Bok 7’s side will have to be at their best to improve their position on the log when they face Samoa in their pool in Adelaide!
The Blitsbokke, who won the Plate in Las Vegas and finally overcame their bogey against the Fijians after four straight losses this year, will now move to the Adelaide Sevens on March 19 knowing they have another South Sea challenge to overcome.
South Africa is paired with Las Vegas champions Samoa in their pool, and while this presents a different type of challenge for Treu’s side, they at least have the knowledge that Samoa are more direct and predictable than their Island neighbours.
The Blitsbokke also have a good record against Samoa, and will be buoyed by the fact they turned the corner against Fiji this past weekend.
The Boks should have the measure of France and Japan, who make up the rest of Pool B, but will need to win their pool if they are to avoid a rematch with the All Blacks.
Twice in this year’s Series the Boks have rattled the IRB Sevens Series leaders, dominated play but lost in Wellington and Las Vegas. Should they fail to beat Samoa, they will face the All Blacks in the quarter-finals once again.
If they do manage to win, they have an easier route ahead – with Scotland, Tonga and Argentina fighting it out for second spot in Pool A.
Fiji have a tricky task in Pool C against Sevens wildcards Kenya, while outsiders Wales can always surprise and the unpredictable Papua New Guinea fill the group.
Australia’s surprise appearance in the semis at Las Vegas make them a real threat for England in Pool D, while Las Vegas Bowl winners USA and Nieu round out the group.
Pools for the Adelaide Sevens:
Pool A: New Zealand, Argentina, Scotland, Tonga
Pool B: Samoa, South Africa, France, Japan
Pool C: Fiji, Kenya, Wales, Papua New Guinea
Pool D: England, Australia, USA, Niue
[Info from a story by Brenden Nel, Sport24]