The 2023-24 NSBC SVNS World Series kicked off last weekend with a thrilling event in Dubai. Round 2 of the eight-round series roars into South Africa this weekend, with Cape Town set to host the traveling festival.

It should be a thrilling weekend, with the slimmed-down tournament featuring 12 men’s (down from 16 last year) and 12 women’s teams playing for the cup. The host nation looks to be in fine form on the men’s side, with South Africa having taken the Dubai crown with a 12-7 win over Argentina in the final. The South African women will be looking to bounce back, having finished bottom of Pool A in Dubai, having lost all three of their matches.

Cape Town Winner Odds From BetXchange:

South Africa is the obvious favorite to win in Cape Town. Not only are they at home, but in Dubai they showed they are in fine form to open the season. We probably shouldn’t be shocked that South Africa won in Dubai, as this was their fifth title in a row in the city.

The Blitzboks went undefeated in Dubai, winning a pool that saw them drawn alongside Canada, Samoa, and New Zealand. Their 21-19 win over New Zealand in the final pool game was huge, with the two Rugby Championship foes looking like the teams to beat on the circuit this year.

South Africa will again look to the skills of Selvyn Davids to unlock the other teams in their pool. Great Britain should be the biggest issue for the Blitzboks in Pool A, with the USA and Ireland being the other two nations on that side of the draw.

New Zealand will be the biggest threat again in Cape Town. They have a team loaded with talent, as shown by the decisive try scored by Fehi Fineanganofo as he beat two defenders in a phone box to score the bronze medal-winning try as they defeated the always dangerous Fiji.

One worry for the All Blacks Sevens squad is that they played all their games (except one) very close in Dubai. Five of their six matches had a winning margin one way or the other of less than five points, meaning they were always playing with fire, given how unpredictable the bounce of a rugby ball can be. Watch for the team to put in work in the pool stages to win more convincingly as they look to be a team to be reckoned with in Round 2.

Argentina was the surprise package in Dubai. This was the first time they had reached the final, with Marcos Moneta again starring as they came from 14-0 down to escape Samoa in their quarter-final. I don’t love them a 5/1 to win in Cape Town, but there is no doubt they have the speedy players to upset either of the two favorites on their day.

If you wanted to back Fiji at 5/1, I would have no problem with it. The country that has sevens as their lifeblood could easily have made the final in Dubai, and they are always a threat in any tournament. They would be my second pick to win here after the Blitzboks.


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