2022 HSBC Sevens – Round 6: Canada
Venue: BC Place, Vancouver
Race Date: 16-17 April 2022
The HSBC Canada Sevens has been a massive hit since first appearing on the schedule in 2016. The 2020 version of the event was basically the last major sporting spectacle before the world shut down and somehow they got off two events in 2021 that comprised the entire season schedule. Canadians love their sevens and they will be looking for a better go of it from the home team who were eliminated in the group stage in Singapore.
Event six should be an interesting one as Fiji finally broke the dominance of South Africa in Singapore. Here is a look at the odds with BetXchange.
Fiji – 35/20
Fiji won in Singapore and they are the team to beat in Canada. It wasn’t just that they won the event, it is also how dominant they were in the final after racing out to a 21-0 lead over New Zealand in the first half. The Olympic gold medallists looked at their imperious best here. Players such as Vuiviawa Naduvalo and Waisea Nacuqu feel like they are unstoppable on their day and if the conditions are right for open, free-flowing rugby sevens then the Fijians will take some stopping here.
South Africa – 5/2
South Africa was unlucky in catching an inspired Fiji side in the semifinal thanks to the Finijans opening pool play match defeat. They had won six consecutive events in the series, though that does come with a caveat as both New Zealand and Fiji combined to miss many of those events. Even so, this is a team that is second favourite for a reason and they will be determined to do better than a quarterfinal defeat in British Columbia.
New Zealand – 3/1
New Zealand made their return to the sevens series with a bang having not competed at all since 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was hard to know exactly what to expect from the All Blacks, but it should probably come as no shock that they marched to the final unbeaten given the depth and quality that the team possesses. They were blitzed early by Fiji – something that can easily happen in sevens given the snowball effect of try-scoring – but this is certainly a team to be reckoned with in Vancouver.
2022 HSBA Canada Sevens Best Bets:
Event Winner: Fiji – 35/20
It might feel like a boring (or safe) pick, but Fiji is simply the team to beat right now. The Pacific Islanders will have to be careful – losing their opening pool match against Ireland gave them a more difficult route to the final last time out – but the way they were able to control games against South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand was impressive.
Long Shot Winner: Ireland – 15/1
Picking Argentina (11/1) or the USA (14/1) would also be fine, but Ireland showed so much in Singapore that it would be rude not to mention them as a potential dark horse. They beat Fiji in the opener and gave the All Blacks everything they could handle in a 22-19 semifinal defeat. They then bounced back to push Australia all the way in a 2 point defeat in the bronze medal match. This is a team on the rise.