Friday, November 3, 2017

Silicon Valley 7s Preview

The Silicon Valley 7s kicks off tomorrow and will feature a slate of strong matches. Although the tournament is not a stop on the 7s Series many teams are treating it as such while at the same time developing younger players.  That should make for a pretty unpredictable tournament.

Pool A: England, Canada, Samoa, Ireland

Outside of England Pool A is a real toss-up and arguably the pool to watch during the first day. England are clearly the class of the group and will be expected to top the pool at the end of the day. It's going to be a fight between Canada, Samoa, and Ireland to see who comes in second. On paper that should be Canada but they are bringing a mixed team to the tournament. However, playing so close to home has to be an advantage for the team.

Samoa have the athletes and rugby pedigree to succeed but have simply struggled at 7s the last few years. Ireland are the real wild card. They have never really taken 7s seriously before but given their level of talent they can make a pretty good 7s team.

Take the jump to read more.

Pool B: Japan, China, Fiji, Australia

Unlike Pool A where there is a clear favorite Pool B is more wide open between Fiji and Australia as to who is going to take the top spot. Fiji are coming off another phenomenal year and no matter who they send out are always a threat. However, Australia could be the team that halts that if they click on all cylinders. Australia can be very good and their choice to go with youth a few years ago paid off big.

Japan could make some noise but that also seems unlikely given their pool. They have the players but with the tournament not being a stop on the Sevens Series they will probably run out developmental teams just like the rest of the field. China are expected to struggle although money has been invested into the game.

Pool C: USA, Tonga, Chile New Zealand

We already previewed the U.S. and their pool. You can read that here. At the same time it's worth noting that the U.S. and New Zealand are heavy favorites to advance out of pool play. There is a chance that Tonga might provide an upset but it seems unlikely.

Play start at 2:00 p.m. et/11:00 a.m. pt on Saturday and finishes around 8:00 p.m. pt at night. It's roughly the same schedule for Sunday except with the final at 7:00 p.m. pt. 

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