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Preview: IRB Sevens, Las Vegas

07th February 2013 12:40

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las vegas sevens fans preview

Round Five: Viva Las Vegas!

Las Vegas is the fifth leg on the IRB Sevens World Series circuit, and there's still plenty to play for as we head into the halfway stage of the series.

The competition has opened up slightly after leaders New Zealand failed to make home ground advantage count last weekend in Wellington.

Just 21 points seperate the All Blacks Sevens (77) from second-placed Kenya (56), who can cut the gap even more if they manage to put in another good performance in the USA.

Indeed, the Africans will be the team to watch this weekend.

Before losing out to England in extra time try at Westpac Stadium, Mike Friday's side won all three of their pool matches on Day One, and then defeated South Africa 21-20 in the quarters and came from 14-0 behind to record a famous 19-14 victory over New Zealand to make their first Cup final since 2009.

Samoa are third on the standings (54 points) and will be eyeing back-to-back victories in Las Vegas after snatching a dramatic win over New Zealand in the Cup final at the Sam Boyd Stadium last year.

Fiji, France and South Africa will be looking to put their faltering campaigns back on track following some dismal outings in Wellington a week ago. Las Vegas could prove to be one last throw of the dice if they wish to stay in touch with the top three teams.

At least they enter Sin City knowing they'll have little chance of being involved in the tournament's first promotion/relegation play-offs in May. Tonga, Zimbabwe and Russia are the ones that should be worried, however none of them are taking part in this round.

The teams that are set to take the field, however, will be looking to increase their rankings points in order to help improve their position as this will determine seedings for the Sevens World Cup in Moscow in June.

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PosTeamPPts
1Ireland417
2Australia415
3Italy410
4USA44
5Russia41