2005–06 World Sevens Series

  (Redirected from 2005-06 IRB Sevens World Series)

The 2005–06 World Sevens Series was the seventh edition of the global circuit for men's national rugby sevens teams, run by the International Rugby Board since 1999-2000. The series was won by Fiji in the last event of the competition, ending New Zealand's 6-year run as series champions. Fiji needed to finish in fifth place or higher at the London Sevens to ensure that they would win the series ahead of England, but won the tournament handily with 54–14 victory over Samoa in the final.

2005–06 IRB Sevens
Series VII
Hosts
Date1 December 2005 – 4 June 2006
Nations32
Final positions
Champions Fiji
Runners-up England
Third South Africa

ItineraryEdit

The most prestigious annual sevens event, the Hong Kong Sevens, returned to the series in 2005–06 after a one-year hiatus for the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens, which was held in Hong Kong in March 2005 and won by Fiji. The tournaments spanned the globe for the 2005–06 World Sevens Series, with the following eight events scheduled:

2005-06 Itinerary
Leg Venue Date Winner
Dubai Dubai Exiles Rugby Ground December 1–2, 2005   England
South Africa Outeniqua Park, George December 9–10, 2005   Fiji
New Zealand Westpac Stadium, Wellington February 3–4, 2006   Fiji
United States Home Depot Center, Los Angeles February 11–12, 2006   England
Hong Kong Hong Kong Stadium March 31-April 2, 2006   England
Singapore National Stadium, Singapore April 8–9, 2006   Fiji
Paris Stade Jean-Bouin May 27–28, 2006   South Africa
London Twickenham June 3–4, 2006   Fiji

Competition formatEdit

The return of the Hong Kong Sevens to the 2005–06 series added a 24-team tournament into the mix again, alongside the standard 16-team format used for all the over events. Regardless of the number of teams competing, the basic structure of each event was broadly the same, beginning with the pool stage before progressing to a knockout stage to decide the tournament winners.

Pool stageEdit

For the pool stage, teams were divided into pools of four – either 6 pools of four teams in a 24-team event, or 4 pools of four teams in a 16-team event – and a round-robin was played within each pool. The points awarded for the pool matches were 3 for a win, 2 for a draw, 1 for a loss. Where tie-breakers were required, the head-to-head result between the tied teams was used, followed by the difference in points scored during tournament play.

Knockout stageEdit

The position achieved by each team in the pool stage determined its pathway in the knockout stage. Whether playing with 16 or 24 teams, however, only the top 8 sides from the pool stage could advance to the championship quarterfinals to compete for the tournament title.

16 team tournamentEdit

For a standard 16-team event, four trophies were contested during the knockout stage – in descending order of prestige: the Cup (whose winner became the tournament champion), Plate, Bowl and Shield. The format of the playoffs is described below

Cup
  • The top 8 sides (i.e. top two from each pool) advanced to the Cup quarterfinals
  • The 4 winners of the quarterfinals meet in the Cup semifinal bracket to play off for first, second and shared third place in the tournament.

Plate

  • The 4 losers of the Cup quarterfinals drop down to the Plate semifinal bracket to play off for fifth, sixth and shared seventh place in the tournament.

Bowl

  • The 4 third-placed sides from each pool meet in the Bowl bracket to decide 9th, 10th and shared 11th place in the tournament.

Shield

  • The 4 fourth-placed sides from each pool met in the Shield bracket to decide 13th, 14th and shared 15th place in the tournament.

24-team tournamentEdit

For the 24-team event, only three trophies were contested during the knockout stage: Cup, Plate and Bowl. The format of the playoffs with 8-team brackets is described below.

Cup
  • Top 8 sides (winners of the six pools, plus two best second-placed in the pools) meet in the Cup quarterfinals.
  • The four losers are awarded a 4-way share of fifth place in the tournament.
  • The four winners meet in the semifinal bracket to play off for first, second and shared third place in the tournament.

Plate

  • Next-best 8 sides (four remaining second-placed in the pools, plus four best third-placed) meet in the Plate quarterfinals.
  • The four losers are awarded a 4-way share of 13th place in the tournament.
  • The four winners meet in the semifinal bracket to play off for 9th, 10th and shared 11th place in the tournament.

Bowl

  • Bottom 8 sides (two remaining third-placed in the pools, plus the six fourth-placed) met in the Bowl quarterfinals.
  • The four losers are awarded a 4-way share of 21st place in the tournament.
  • The four winners meet in the semifinal bracket to play off for 17th, 18th and shared 19th place in the tournament.

Points schedulesEdit

The season championship was determined by the total points earned in all tournaments. The points schedules used for 2005–06 World Sevens Series were:

Points schedule: 16-team event
Points Place Status
20 1st Cup winner
16 2nd Cup runner-up
12 3rd
(2-way share)
Losing Cup semifinalists
8 5th Plate winner
6 6th Plate runner-up
4 7th
(2-way share)
Losing Plate semifinalists
1 9th Bowl winner
Points schedule: 24-team event
Points Place Status
30 1st Cup winner
24 2nd Cup runner-up
18 3rd
(2-way share)
Losing Cup semifinalists
8 5th
(4-way share)
Losing Cup quarterfinalists
4 9th Plate winner
3 10th Plate runner-up
1 17th Bowl winner

Final standingsEdit

The points awarded to teams at each event, as well as the overall season totals, are shown in the table below. Points for the event winners are indicated in bold. A zero (0) is recorded in the event column where a team played in a tournament but did not gain any points. A dash (–) is recorded in the event column if a team did not compete at a tournament.

2005–06 IRB Sevens – Series VII
 
Pos.
Event 
Team
 
Dubai
 
George
 
Well­ing­ton
 
Los Ang­eles
 
Hong Kong
 
Singa­pore
 
Paris
 
Lon­don
Points
total
   
1   Fiji 16 20 20 16 24 20 8 20 144
2   England 20 12 8 20 30 16 4 12 122
3   South Africa 12 12 16 12 18 12 20 8 110
4   New Zealand 8 6 12 12 18 4 4 12 76
5   Samoa 12 8 4 0 8 8 16 16 72
6   Argentina 4 16 6 8 8 12 6 4 64
7   France 6 4 12 6 0 6 12 4 50
8   Australia 4 4 4 4 8 4 12 0 40
9   Kenya 0 0 0 0 3 2 2 6 13
10   Scotland 0 0 2 2 8 0 0 0 12
11   Wales 2 2 4 8
12   Canada 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 4
13   Portugal 0 0 0 0 2 2
14   China 1 0 1

Source: rugby7.com (archived)

Notes:
  Light blue line on the left indicates a core team eligible to participate in all events of the series.

New Zealand, which had won the first six World Sevens Series, was mathematically eliminated from contention for the 2005–06 crown after the Singapore Sevens. Fiji's title was the first in the seven-year history of the competition to be won by a country other than New Zealand.

The eventsEdit

DubaiEdit

The opening event of the season saw England defend their title, but not without a major fight. They had a very tough semifinal against Samoa, surviving only via an injury-time try by Sevens newcomer Tom Varndell and conversion by Simon Amor after Samoa had been controversially reduced to six men in the final seconds. Facing England in the final was Fiji, which had a much tougher road to the final. In what would prove to be a harbinger of the season to come, they upset six-time defending series champion New Zealand in the quarterfinals. Fiji then defeated South Africa in the semifinals.

The final proved to be a back-and-forth game, with each team seemingly having an answer for the other's scores. However, Varndell, who was named player of the tournament, scored his third try of the final and 10th of the tournament with little more than a minute to go, giving England a lead Fiji could only reduce.[1]

Event Winners Score Finalists Semi Finalists
Cup   England 28 - 26   Fiji   Samoa
  South Africa
Plate   New Zealand 19 - 7   France   Argentina
  Australia
Bowl   Wales 19 - 5   Canada   Portugal
  Scotland
Shield   Kenya 10 - 7   Tunisia  Arabian Gulf
  Uganda

South AfricaEdit

Here, Fiji scored their first win in an IRB Sevens event since their 2002 win in this very event. They defeated both New Zealand and England in the knockout phase to advance to the final. Their opponents were Argentina, who were upset by Wales in pool play, but went on to defeat New Zealand later in pool play. Fiji took a 14–0 lead after five minutes of the final, but Argentina stormed back to take a 19–14 lead. William Ryder scored a try near the end to draw Fiji level, with the winning points provided by a conversion from Sevens legend and player-coach Waisale Serevi. The man-of-the-tournament award went to Serevi's successor as Fiji Sevens captain, Jone Daunivucu.[2]

Event Winners Score Finalists Semi Finalists
Cup   Fiji 21 - 19   Argentina   England
  South Africa
Plate   Samoa 17 - 5   New Zealand   Australia
  France
Bowl   Wales 34 - 14   Portugal   Scotland
  Zimbabwe
Shield   Canada 12 - 5   Tunisia   Kenya
  Namibia

New ZealandEdit

This event made it clear to many observers that for the first time in the history of the World Sevens Series, New Zealand would not be the overall winner. While New Zealand were unable to win on home soil in Wellington, Fiji advanced to their third final this season, defeating New Zealand in the semifinals. The Fijians won a nail-biting extra-time final over South Africa to take pole position in the series.[3]

Event Winners Score Finalists Semi Finalists
Cup   Fiji 27 - 22   South Africa   France
  New Zealand
Plate   England 14 - 10   Argentina   Australia
  Samoa
Bowl   Scotland 10 - 5   Canada   Cook Islands
  Kenya
Shield   Tonga 19 - 14   Papua New Guinea   Niue
  United States

United StatesEdit

England stormed back into contention for the overall series crown here, destroying Fiji in the final. By this time, it became increasingly clear that the race for the title would be between the two Los Angeles finalists.[4]

Event Winners Score Finalists Semi Finalists
Cup   England 38 - 5   Fiji   New Zealand
  South Africa
Plate   Argentina 21 - 5   France   Australia
  Canada
Bowl   Scotland 26 - 21   Tonga   Uruguay
  Samoa
Shield   Kenya 26 - 12   United States   Mexico
  West Indies

Hong KongEdit

The 30th edition of arguably the biggest event in the Sevens version of the game saw what Planet-Rugby.com called an "absolutely mesmerising" final. The first half belonged to England, who took advantage of a Fiji sin-binning to break open a tight game to take a 19–7 lead at the break. Serevi's men stormed back in the second half to level the score, and eventually took the lead on a Ryder try. However, they turned the ball over as the full-time siren sounded. England took advantage, with Ben Gollings scoring a try to tie the match and converting to win.[5]

Event Winners Score Finalists Semi Finalists
Cup   England 26 - 24   Fiji   New Zealand
  South Africa
  Argentina
  Australia
  Samoa
  Scotland
Plate   Wales 15 - 5   Kenya   Canada
  France
  Japan
  Portugal
  Russia
  South Korea
Bowl   China 47 - 0   Chinese Taipei   Hong Kong
  Sri Lanka
  Italy
  Madagascar
  Singapore
  United States

SingaporeEdit

This event saw a rematch of the Hong Kong final, with Fiji scoring a comfortable win this time, despite missing two key players—Danivucu to a three-month disciplinary ban for biting Varndell in the Hong Kong final, and Epeli Dranivasa to a broken arm suffered in the same match. New Zealand were officially eliminated from contention for the series crown, crashing out in the Cup quarterfinals to Argentina and losing in the Plate semifinals to Samoa. Fiji placed themselves in pole position to claim the series crown; if they made the finals in Paris and England, they would win the series title no matter what England did.[6]

Event Winners Score Finalists Semi Finalists
Cup   Fiji 40 - 21   England   Argentina
  South Africa
Plate   Samoa 26 - 5   France   Australia
  New Zealand
Bowl   Kenya 12 - 0   Japan   Canada
  Scotland
Shield   South Korea 43 - 5   China   Hong Kong
  Singapore

ParisEdit

Going into Paris, second-place England knew they had to finish at least two spots ahead of Fiji in one of the remaining two tournaments to win the overall title. England caught a major break when the hosts, France, stunned Fiji 22–21 in the Cup quarterfinals, knocking them into the Plate competition. However, England could not take advantage of the upset, crashing out of the Cup at the same stage to Australia, 29–17. Fiji went on to win the Plate and extend their lead over England for the overall crown.

In the meantime, South Africa went on to win the Paris crown. In the final, they avenged a loss to Samoa in pool play, with Rayno Benjamin and Danwell Dimas scoring two tries apiece.

The results here all but assured Fiji the overall crown. England could only win the 2005-06 series if they won the final event at Twickenham and Fiji lost in or before the Plate semifinals.[7]

Event Winners Score Finalists Semi Finalists
Cup   South Africa 33 - 12   Samoa   Australia
  France
Plate   Fiji 31 - 12   Argentina   England
  New Zealand
Bowl   Kenya 31 - 7   Italy   Canada
  Tunisia
Shield   Scotland 40 - 0   Germany   Portugal
  Russia

LondonEdit

The first day saw Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand sweep through pool play unbeaten. The most competitive pool was Pool B, featuring the hosts England. The pool was tightly contested, with England neck-and-neck with Australia and surprise package Kenya. In a major shocker, Kenya easily defeated Australia 26–7. Although England would lose the day's final match 24–19 to Australia, they topped the pool on points difference, with Kenya finishing second.[8]

On Day 2, Fiji clinched the overall series crown by defeating Kenya 33–14 in the Cup quarterfinals. They went on to crush South Pacific rivals Samoa 54–14 for the London crown. England held off South Africa for second place, advancing to the Cup semifinals while South Africa could only advance to the Plate final, in which they beat Kenya.

The Bowl competition went especially against form. In the first semifinal, Portugal surprised Scotland 24–12. The second saw an even more shocking result, as Russia used a hat trick from Igor Galinovskiy to stun Australia 21–5. Portugal won the final 45–0.[9]

Event Winners Score Finalists Semi Finalists
Cup   Fiji 54 - 14   Samoa   England
  New Zealand
Plate   South Africa 42 - 7   Kenya   Argentina
  France
Bowl   Portugal 45 - 0   Russia   Australia
  Scotland
Shield   Italy 17 - 12   Canada   Germany
  Tunisia

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Day Two - IRB Sevens, Dubai Rugby Rugby.
  2. ^ Day Two - IRB Sevens, George Rugby Rugby.
  3. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  4. ^ [2][permanent dead link]
  5. ^ [3][permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Singapore falls to flying Fijians Rugby Rugby.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". www.rugbyrugby.com. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". www.rugbyrugby.com. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". www.rugbyrugby.com. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit