Argentina and New Zealand win HSBC SVNS 2024 league titles in Singapore

HSBC SVNS League 2024

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HSBC SVNS League 2024

History was made on a dazzling day of high drama, emotion and all action international rugby sevens in Singapore as Argentina’s men claimed their first ever HSBC SVNS league winners title and New Zealand overcame arch rivals Argentina in an epic women’s final to win both the Singapore and SVNS League titles.

New Zealand came out 31-21 victors against Australia in a straight shootout to be crowned SVNS League Winners 2024 and the first ever women’s HSBC SVNS Singapore champions.

In a thrilling conclusion to the tightest women’s series in history, it all came down to the very last game, contested by the two sides locked on 106 points each at the top of the standings.

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However, a depleted Australia could not reply to a ferocious Black Ferns Sevens performance, including a hat-trick from Michaela Blyde, their fourth successive tournament gold confirming their place at the top of the regular season standings.

Hattrick hero Blyde said: “It means a lot! The beginning of the season was a little bit rocky for us, so we didn’t want to think too far ahead for this tournament but Singapore has just brought incredible vibes and to come away with the Singapore title and the league winners is really special.

“We’ve just been taking it game by game, we wanted to make sure that we treated every game like it was our last and I think we did do that. There were some times when we were inconsistent and challenged but we were able to turn that around and gain the momentum back and to gain the six wins here. To sum it up, I’m really proud.”

The final tournament of the regular season also brought confirmation of the final standings. France outshone Fiji for the bronze medal in Singapore to confirm third in the standings, and Great Britain secured eighth spot to fight it out in the Grand Final in Madrid, with Brazil joining Japan, South Africa and Spain to compete in the promotion-relegation tournament.

The men’s regular HSBC SVNS season also concluded in Singapore after seven highly competitive rounds as New Zealand edged Ireland 17-14 to clinch the Singapore title and make it double delight for New Zealand on the day.

Argentina had to dig deep and find a way to win 14-10 over South Africa in the fifth-place play-off, coming back from 10-0 down at the break to secure their first-ever HSBC SVNS series win.

As Argentina’s celebrations began, it was the All Blacks Sevens who clinched the title in Singapore, defending their trophy from last year and taking their second consecutive gold after victory last time out in Hong Kong.

It was an emotional moment when Argentina finally confirmed themselves as this season’s League Winners, a last-minute winner from Tobias Wade under the posts confirming the title that looked so firmly in their grasp after three wins in the first four tournaments of the season, but became less certain after slip-ups in Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

“It’s been such a long time. So many moments, good and bad,” reflected Argentina’s Gastón Revol, who debuted for his country back in 2009, on winning the SVNS title.

“The journey was really difficult. We kept on trying, kept on training, kept on believing in this team and I think we have the prize that we deserve. It’s incredible to be here at this moment. Here and in every other tournament at my age, I’m 37 years old and I’m still here with these guys, these great players.”

Trailing South Africa at the break, Revol spoke of what it took for his team to come back for the victory.

“This is our team – this is us,” he said. “In the difficult moments we get together and do things like winning the match. [At half-time] one of the guys said in the [huddle] that we could, that we have to trust, and we did that,” he added. “We started to believe.”

The race for the last Grand Final spot was eventually won by Great Britain after a 26-5 victory over Australia in the bronze medal match.

USA had held off a French fightback to win 19-17 in the seventh-place play-off, but Great Britain’s win saw them clinch the eighth seeding and send the USA in to the promotion and relegation competition in Madrid.

Great Britain men’s captain Robbie Fergusson said: “It’s not really sunk in to be honest! Seven points behind in the standings and I think everyone had written us off but to come out and play knockout rugby, from game two just to have a shot was unbelievable character from the boys and the resilience from us as a group to come together.

“We’ve given ourselves a one-shot chance in Madrid and then we can press on and then it puts us in a good place for the Olympic qualifier in Monaco. There’s total belief between the 18 boys, the ones that are at home and couldn’t make this trip that are injured that are ready to come back in for the next one, and the boys that have slogged it out here for the last six games. It’s tough going on the body but these moments make it all worthwhile.”

The new look HSBC SVNS 2024 featured seven regular season events in Dubai, Cape Town, Perth, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Singapore, where the League Winners were decided, before the inaugural Grand Final in Madrid on 31 May to 2 June when the HSBC SVNS 2024 champions will be crowned in the winner takes-all event featuring the top eight teams from the regular season.

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The event in Madrid will also see the bottom four placed teams from HSBC SVNS 2024 compete with the top four teams from the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 in a new high stakes promotion and relegation competition.

At the conclusion of the Singapore event the eight men’s and women’s teams who will contest the Grand Final are now confirmed.

The men’s competition will involve Argentina, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, France, Fiji, South Africa and Great Britain, while the USA, Spain, Samoa and Canada will contest the promotion and relegation competition.

The women’s Grand Final teams are New Zealand, Australia, France, USA, Canada, Fiji, Ireland and Great Britain, as Japan, Brazil, South Africa and Spain head into the promotion and relegation competition.

Article by World Rugby