Using a new knockout stage system, New Zealand won the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco.
New Zealand Win Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco
In both the mens and women’s Rugby Sevens World Cup, New Zealand emerged victorious showing their dominance on the world stage once again. Held in San Francisco, over 102,000 fans attended the event over the three days and they were entertained with some exhilarating sevens rugby.
There was also a new format introduced for the 2018 tournament, with the traditional round-robin phase scrapped for a straight knockout in the opening round of matches.
Whilst it created incredible excitement from the off, this new format divided opinion.
“We’re getting a lot of positive feedback from fans about the drama of knockout,” said World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper. “It makes each game exciting. It can be brutal for teams, but sport’s brutal.”
England men’s captain said he is “not totally sold on the new format. There are pros and cons to it but it’s up to World Rugby to keep mixing things up and keep improving the game.”
New Zealand coach Clark Laidlaw also said “As a spectacle I’m sure everyone enjoyed it, but when you’ve got coaches and players’ livelihoods at stake, and the format isn’t quite what we’re paid to do, it’s an interesting question.”
Laidlaw’s criticism is surprising given the success of both the New Zealand men’s and women’s teams.
The men beat Russia, France, Fiji, and in the final, England to secure their second World Cup victory in a row. The final score was 33-12. In 2013 New Zealand once again beat England in the final.
The women beat Mexico, Ireland, the United States and finally France by 29 points to nil. This was also their second World Cup trophy in a row after defeating Canada in 2013.