SVNS heaven for New Zealand, Argentina and Great Britain while USA miss Grand Final cut

Adam Kyriacou
New Zealand celebrate Singapore Sevens win.

New Zealand celebrate Singapore Sevens win.

It was an eventful final stop in the men’s HSBC SVNS season as New Zealand beat Ireland to claim the Singapore spoils while Argentina were crowned league winners.

Los Pumas Sevens won their first-ever series title after finishing in fifth position in Singapore, ultimately pipping Ireland by three points in the final standings.

They overcame South Africa 14-10 in the fifth-place play-off on Sunday, fighting back from 10-0 to claim the crucial win that saw the team make Sevens history.

Elsewhere the other main talking point from the men’s weekend was Great Britain wrapping up a place in the Grand Final in Madrid as they finished third after beating Australia. The 26-5 victory, coupled with USA only finishing in seventh spot in Singapore, meant GB claimed the all-important eighth position in the final table.

Joy for Argentina

Argentina were overjoyed as a last-minute winner from Tobias Wade under the posts confirmed 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.”

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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.”

New Zealand win final

Two first-half tries from Leroy Carter and Fehi Fineanganofo took New Zealand into a 12-0 lead before Ireland had their first threatening attack, but the men in green managed to cross for one of their own just before the breakthrough Gavin Mullin for a 12-7 half-time score.

A tense second half was eventually broken by Dylan Collier sniping at the ruck for New Zealand’s third, but Harry McNulty, who missed his tackle on Collier to concede a minute earlier, made amends with a score at the other end to make it a three-point game.

A Cody Vai knock-on gave Ireland one final chance, but they were left bridesmaids in a final for a third time as Tone Ng Shiu came up with the crucial turnover at the breakdown.

GB clinch spot in Madrid

The permutation was simple for Great Britain in the bronze medal match – win, and they would finish eighth and play the Grand Final in Madrid; lose, and they would be in the promotion-relegation tournament.

But, after losing their semi-final, Great Britain were not going to let their second chance go begging. Max McFarland got GB on the scoresheet after four minutes, and just before the break captain Robbie Fergusson added a second with an incredible score, sprinting 70 metres before holding off the Australian cover tackle, and adding a sublime left-handed finish.

Two more tries in the second half from Will Homer and Kaleem Barreto put them far out of reach, Great Britain’s men matching the achievements of the women yesterday to earn a spot in the Grand Final and safety for next season’s series.

Women’s title for New Zealand

In the women’s competition, New Zealand were 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.

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.

Final men’s SVNS standings

1 Argentina 106
2 Ireland 104
3 New Zealand 93
4 Australia 83
5 Fiji 80
6 France 80
7 South Africa 68
8 Great Britain 53
9 USA 52
10 Spain 36
11 Samoa 29
12 Canada 14

Final women’s SVNS standings

1 New Zealand 126
2 Australia 124
3 France 104
4 USA 85
5 Canada 80
6 Fiji 68
7 Ireland 66
8 Great Britain 39
9 Japan 34
10 Brazil 32
11 South Africa 23
12 Spain 17

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