Olympic Rugby Sevens Preview

Updated Thursday 4th August 2016, 02:05 PM

Event Date: August 5th to 11th 2016

Making its first-ever appearance at the Olympics, rugby sevens is a fast-paced and action-packed game that requires players to show an abundance of bravery, skill and speed. The men of Fiji will be looking to prove why they are the early favourites to take gold, while the trio of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will also be eyeing success. Meanwhile, the women of Australia and New Zealand will be hoping to avoid any slip-ups as they attempt to finish atop the winner’s podium. Which nation will cause a rugby ruckus in Rio? 

How the Bookies See it

  • Men’s Winner: Fiji 7/4, South Africa 5/2, New Zealand 5/2 - BetVictor
  • Women’s Winner: Australia 8/11, New Zealand 7/4, Canada 9/1 - Sky Bet


Men’s Tournament

  • Pool A - Fiji, USA, Argentina, Brazil

Fiji are by far the strongest team in Pool A and should have no issues making it through to the next round, ideally racking up some big score lines along the way. Expect the USA and Argentina to battle it out for second and third, while Brazil, who qualified as hosts, are expected to exit the competition swiftly.

  • Pool B - South Africa, Australia, France, Spain

South Africa and Australia are amongst the favourites for the gold medal, so expect a tightly-fought contest between the giants of Southern Hemisphere rugby. France could sneak through as one of the best third-placed teams, while there looks to be no hope for Spain in such a tough pool.

  • Pool C - New Zealand, Great Britain, Kenya, Japan

New Zealand are renowned for their love of rugby and this more compact version of the sport is no different. The bookies predict that the Kiwis and Great Britain should make light work of Pool C, with a fight between the less-fancied Kenya and Japan for a possible spot in the quarterfinals as the best third-placed team from the pool stage.

Women’s Tournament

  • Pool A - Australia, USA, Fiji, Colombia

Australia are the clear favourites to romp both Pool A and take a medal from the tournament, but they could kaffle under the weight of expectation. Be sure that the USA and Fiji will be ready to pounce on any slip-ups, but don’t expect Colombia to pull up any trees during their time in the competition.   

  • Pool B - New Zealand, France, Spain, Kenya

New Zealand are heavily fancied to go far in this tournament and should have no issues about making it out of Pool B. France should join them in the quarterfinals, while Spain and Kenya may be left to battle it out for a potential place in the last eight.

  • Pool C - Canada, Great Britain, Brazil, Japan

Canada are predicted to make their way through the pool stage relatively unscathed, likewise Great Britain. Hosts Brazil have been forced to take steps in order to make the women’s team competitive, but don’t expect any miracles despite their side having home advantage. Japan will consider it a triumph if they manage to make it any further than the first round.    

Sports.net’s view

Men’s Tournament

There shouldn’t be that many shocks in the early stages and the odds for the strongest teams to make it through as pool winners reflect that. Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand are all firm favourites to progress as group winners and could form the basis of a fine accumulator, but don’t discount the likes of Great Britain and Australia edging out their opponents and stealing top spot.

When it comes to contenders for the gold, it may be hard to look beyond Fiji and South Africa going all the way. If you’re fancying an upset it might be advisable to lean in the direction of Australia, with the Wallabies commanding handsome odds on taking the top spot on the final podium.      

  • Sports.net’s top tip: - Australia to Win Gold - 16/1 - William Hill


Women’s Tournament

Australia and New Zealand are clear favourites to top their respective pools and could be two teams to consider should you need to add to a sizeable accumulator. Canada might face stern competition from Great Britain for first place in the group, but both teams should qualify with ease and could be worth considering for a medal.  

In terms of the gold, Australia are the favourites to reign supreme in Rio, while New Zealand look to be the only team who can realistically stop them. For those looking for an outside tip, France may be a team to watch, should they successfully overcome the superpowers from the southern hemisphere.     

  • Sports.net’s top tip: - Canada to win Gold - 9/1 - Sky Bet

*Please note that odds may fluctuate.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 August 2016 02:05:00+00:00
Published By Sports.net

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