What: World Sevens Series, Round 3 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Who: 20 of the best Sevens rugby sides in the world
When: First game kicks off on Saturday, 13 December at 9.30pm (NZ Time) with the final on Monday, 15 December at 6.30am (NZ Time).
Where: Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth – South Africa.
I can watch it on: Sky Sport
New Zealand’s Matches (NZ Time):
NZ v Samoa on Saturday, 13 December at 10.50pm
NZ v Japan on Sunday, 14 December at 2.15am
NZ v England on Sunday, 14 December at 6.14am
What they did last time:
New Zealand compounded their horrible start to the Sevens Series by getting thrashed in the semi-final by eventual winners South Africa then copping another loss in the 3rd/4th place play-off to Fiji.
The BlizBokke ended up beating Australia in the final after the Aussies edge Fiji in extra-time in the semi-final.
Argentina came from behind to beat Scotland in the Plate final, Samoa downed France in the Bowl decider and Canada took the Shield final ahead of Kenya.
Fiji (39 pts), South Africa (37), Australia (29), New Zealand (28), Samoa (27), England (27), Argentina (25), Wales (20), Scotland (17), France (14), USA (13), Portugal (10), Canada (6), Kenya (4), Japan (2), Brazil (1), American Samoa (1)
Last year in South Africa:
The home side rode a wave of emotion after Nelson Mandela passed away just days before the tournament. South Africa came from 14-points down to beat New Zealand 14-17 in the final.
Samoa beat Argentina for third place while Fiji took home the Plate ahead of France.
What you need to know:
Having missed out on the final in the opening round on the Gold Coast, New Zealand will be hurting after another poor showing in Dubai last weekend. The pain will be from the double disappointment as much as the flogging coach Gordon Tietjens will be putting them through this week.
Despite being outclassed by South Africa and Fiji in Dubai, New Zealand enter the tournament as favourites but need to start turning good first day performances into clinical finals football.
Australian coach, Geraint John, named an unchanged side ahead of the South African leg of the series. The Aussies clawed back a big halftime deficit against Fiji to win a thriller in extra-time but were no match for South Africa in the decider, going down 33-7.
South Africa are feeling the pressure to win their home tournament for a second year running, with captain Kyle Brown looking for a bit more game-time after missing the Gold Coast Sevens through injury. Brown was used off the bench for Dubai last weekend but thinks he’ll be back to full fitness for Port Elizabeth.
A – South Africa, Wales, USA, Kenya
B – Australia, Argentina, Portugal, Zimbabwe
C – Fiji, Scotland, France, Canada
D – New Zealand, England, Samoa, Japan