South Africa: Ruthless Blitzboks Claim Hollow World Series Win in Season of Turmoil

analysis

The Blitzboks were crowned 2021 HSBC World Sevens Series champions after winning the second of only two tournaments this season.

Blitzbok coach Neil Powell made all the right noises after winning the Edmonton leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series on Monday, which confirmed South Africa's fourth title, but it rang a little hollow.

The history books will forever reflect that the Blitzboks added to their 2009, 2017 and 2018 titles with the 2021 crown, but this season, the 10-leg series was reduced to two tournaments.

Both were played in Canada - in Vancouver and Edmonton - and both were won by the Blitzboks. But they didn't include perennial World Series powerhouses Fiji and New Zealand, who have 17 World Series titles between them, and the rising force of Argentina.

The decision by World Rugby to award a World Series title for a "competition" that was eight tournaments shorter than a usual campaign, and didn't feature two of the three best teams, was a curious one.

In 2020, the series was cut short when the pandemic struck midway through, meaning New Zealand claimed the title with only six rounds played. That wasn't ideal, but with 60% of tournaments completed, it...

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