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The Rugby Sevens season is still young, with only the third event of the 2023 HSBC World Sevens Series coming up this weekend in Cape Town. However, it’s already apparent that this will be a hotly contested series yet again, with six different teams placing in the top three across the first two events of the year. Will that trend continue in South Africa this weekend, or can one team establish themselves as the season favorite?
South Africa head into this weekend as the clear favorites, given that they are playing in front of a home crowd and coming off a victory in Dubai last weekend. However, there’s a hearty chasing pack, with New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, and Argentina all waiting for South Africa to slip up, not to mention the likes of Ireland, France, and the USA impressing as well.
|Event:||2023 HSBC World Sevens Series in South Africa (Cape Town)|
|Format:||16 teams compete in four pools, followed by knockout games|
|Venue:||The DHL Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa|
|Date:||Friday 9 December to Sunday 11 December 2022|
Here’s a look at overall South Africa 2022 Rugby Sevens odds ahead of this weekend’s tournament:
Looking at the betting odds for rugby 7s South Africa 2022, bookies confirm South Africa’s status as the favorites in Cape Town. With odds of 2.87 (15/8), they are the only major side who have improved their odds from this time last week heading into the Dubai Sevens. The next four challengers are all in with a chance, but bookmakers have slightly lengthened the odds of Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina.
If this event feels like déjà vu, that’s because just a few months ago, the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 was contested in Cape Town just a few months ago. There has also been a leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series played in South Africa every year since its inception in 1999-2000.
Recently, the tournament’s silverware has been shared around, with four countries winning in the last five years:
This will be the first time South Africa has held a leg of the World Sevens Series since before the pandemic, given the disruption caused by Covid-19 to the Sevens circuit.
For those who want to bet on rugby union, we have to offer a few different expert picks ahead of the first match on Friday, 9 December. Here are our top tips:
South Africa will head into Cape Town as motivated as a team can get this weekend.
In September, they disappointed their home fans by failing to win the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022. Add to this the fact that they haven’t won their home tournament since 2015/16 and have come up short two times – in 2019/20 against New Zealand by two points, and in 2016/17 against England by another two points – and they’ll be desperate to claim a win in Cape Town this weekend.
Now is as good a chance as any for South Africa. The country enters this tournament leading the HSBC World Sevens Series with 32 points and coming off the back of a tournament win in Dubai less than seven days ago. Form, and the odds, are with South Africa, making them a good bet at 2.87 (15/8).
Another team that is an excellent bet this weekend are New Zealand.
The Kiwis have had an uncharacteristically slow start to the season, letting in upset losses such as last weekend’s 31-28 defeat to Argentina. However, the caliber of the 13-time World Sevens Series champions is undeniable, and it’s just a matter of time until they win their first tournament of the season. They come into Cape Town having finished third in Dubai, with solid wins against Fiji, France, and the USA, but losing to South Africa.
New Zealand’s betting odds of winning a Sevens tournament are extremely rare at 4.50 (7/2). Even though the Kiwis haven’t hit their stride yet this season, they will inevitably make this a great bet.
Those who want a bit more bang for their buck may want to consider betting on one of the other teams playing in the Cape Town Sevens, who may not be a conventional favorite at the online bookies. Here’s our pick of the lot:
Last weekend in Dubai, Ireland strung together one of their best runs in a Sevens tournament, making it all the way to the final.
Though Ireland eventually lost a one-sided final to South Africa 21-5, they impressed throughout the weekend. Clearing their pool with a win, a draw, and a loss, Ireland pulled out two strong performances to win their quarterfinal against Argentina 19-14 and their semifinal against USA 12-7.
While Ireland are by no means the favorite heading into Cape Town on Friday, there’s every chance they could repeat their strong run. Drawn in a pool alongside Samoa, Uruguay, and Japan, Ireland should make it to the quarterfinals. Then, they’re just three wins away from a 21.00 (20/1) return, and they’ve proven already they know how to step up for the big games.
Whether you’re watching the live stream of the Cape Town Sevens or catching the highlights after work, this should be an excellent tournament. South African bookmakers see the hosts in the box seat to record their first home win since 2015/16 but will have tough competition from the likes of Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. In one of the most competitive Sevens seasons in years, tune in this weekend to see who comes out on top in Cape Town.