2008–09 IRB Sevens World Series
|2008–09 IRB Sevens World Series|
|Host nations|| Dubai
|Date||28 November 2008 - 31 May 2009|
|Top point scorer||Ben Gollings|
|Top try scorer||Collins Injera|
The 2008–09 IRB Sevens World Series was the tenth of an annual series of rugby union sevens tournaments for full national sides run by the International Rugby Board since 1999–2000. South Africa clinched the 2008-09 World Series on Day 1 of the Edinburgh Sevens, its first Series title. The defending series champions were New Zealand, who won the 2007–08 series by winning the season's first 5 tournaments. New Zealand won the 2007–08 series with one tournament remaining after winning the Plate Final of the London leg.
Sevens is a stripped-down version of rugby union, with seven players on each side rather than fifteen. Games are much shorter, seven or ten minutes each half, and tend to be very fast-paced. Sevens is traditionally played in a two-day tournament format. However, the most famous event, the Hong Kong Sevens, is played over three days, largely because it involves 24 teams instead of the normal 16. Starting in 2008–09, the Australia leg (which involves the normal 16 teams) was spread out over a three-day period.
The series' tournaments are identical to 2007–2008 and span the globe:
|Dubai||The Sevens||November 28–29, 2008||South Africa|
|South Africa||Outeniqua Park, George||December 5–6, 2008||South Africa|
|New Zealand||Westpac Stadium, Wellington||February 6–7, 2009||England|
|United States||PETCO Park, San Diego, California||February 14–15, 2009||Argentina|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong Stadium||March 27–29, 2009||Fiji|
|Australia||Adelaide Oval, Adelaide||April 3–5, 2009||South Africa|
|London||Twickenham||May 23–24, 2009||England|
|Scotland||Murrayfield, Edinburgh||May 30–31, 2009||Fiji|
The 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens is not a part of the 2008-09 series. Unlike the 2005 edition held in Hong Kong, the 2009 edition did not replace one of the 2008-09 series events. The World Cup was held in Dubai from March 5–7, 2009 and won by Wales.
Prior to the season, the IRB announced the 12 "core teams" that would receive guaranteed berths in each event in the 2008–09 series:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United States
The season championship is determined by points earned in each tournament. For most events, points are awarded on the following schedule:
- Cup winner (1st place): 20 points
- Cup runner-up (2nd place): 16 points
- Losing Cup semifinalists (3rd & 4th place): 12 points
- Plate winner (5th place): 8 points
- Plate runner-up (6th place): 6 points
- Losing Plate semifinalists (7th & 8th place): 4 points
- Bowl winner (9th place): 2 points
Points are awarded on a different schedule for the Hong Kong Sevens:
- Cup winner (1st place): 30 points
- Cup runner-up (2nd place): 24 points
- Losing Cup semifinalists (3rd & 4th place): 18 points
- Losing Cup quarterfinalists (5th, 6th, 7th & 8th place): 8 points
- Plate winner (9th place): 4 points
- Plate runner-up (10th place): 3 points
- Losing Plate semifinalists (11th & 12th place): 2 points
- Bowl winner (17th place): 1 point
In all tournaments except Hong Kong, 16 teams participate. Due to its place as the sports most prestigious annual event, the Hong Kong tournament as 24 teams. In each tournament, the teams are divided into pools of four teams, who play a round-robin within the pool. Points are awarded in each pool on a different schedule from most rugby tournaments—3 for a win, 2 for a draw, 1 for a loss. The first tiebreaker is the head-to-head result between the tied teams, followed by difference in points scored during the tournament.
Four trophies are awarded in each tournament, except for Hong Kong. In descending order of prestige, they are the Cup, whose winner is the overall tournament champion, Plate, Bowl and Shield. In Hong Kong, the Shield is not awarded. Each trophy is awarded at the end of a knockout tournament.
In a 16 team tournament, the top two teams in each pool advance to the Cup competition. The four quarterfinal losers drop into the bracket for the Plate. The Bowl is contested by the third-place finishers in each pool, while the Shield is contested by the last-place teams from each pool. In Hong Kong, the six pool winners, plus the two highest-finishing second-place teams, advance to the Cup. The Plate participants are the eight highest-ranked teams remaining, while the lowest eight drop to the Bowl.
|Individual points 
|4||Renfred Dazel||South Africa||191|
|6||Tomasi Cama||New Zealand||174|
|=10||Mzwandile Stick||South Africa||161|
|Individual tries 
|2=||Rayno Benjamin||South Africa||28|
|2=||Santiago Gomez Cora||Argentina||28|
|7=||Renfred Dazel||South Africa||22|
|7=||Robert Ebersohn||South Africa||22|
|7=||Vuyo Zangqa||South Africa||22|
|Cup||South Africa||19 - 12||England|| New Zealand
|Plate||Samoa||12 - 7||Kenya|| Argentina
|Bowl||Portugal||24 - 0||France|| Wales
|Shield||United States||31 - 7||Arabian Gulf|| Georgia
|Cup||South Africa||12 - 7||New Zealand|| Argentina
|Plate||England||24 - 7||Portugal|| Samoa
|Bowl||France||21 - 12||Australia|| Kenya
|Shield||Zimbabwe||26 - 0||Scotland|| Georgia
|Cup||England||19 - 17||New Zealand|| Argentina
|Plate||South Africa||26 - 12||Wales|| Fiji
|Bowl||Cook Islands||24 - 10||Tonga|| France
|Shield||Scotland||24 - 0||Niue|| Samoa
|Cup||Argentina||19 - 14||England|| South Africa
|Plate||New Zealand||22 - 7||Kenya|| Fiji
|Bowl||Australia||40 - 0||France|| Scotland
|Shield||Canada||31 - 7||Uruguay|| Mexico
|Event||Winners||Score||Finalists||Semi Finalists||Quarter Finalists|
|Cup||Fiji||26 - 24||South Africa|| Kenya
|Plate||Tonga||14 - 12||Canada|| Wales
| United States
|Bowl||Portugal||14 - 12||Uruguay|| Zimbabwe
| Chinese Taipei
|Cup||South Africa||26 - 7||Kenya|| Argentina
|Plate||England||24 - 19||Australia|| Wales
|Bowl||Samoa||35 - 14||France|| Tonga
|Shield||United States||24 - 21||Scotland|| Japan
|Cup||England||31 - 26||New Zealand|| Scotland
|Plate||Fiji||24 - 10||Portugal|| France
|Bowl||Kenya||12 - 7||Wales|| Samoa
|Shield||Canada||27 - 7||United States|| Germany
|Cup||Fiji||20 - 19||South Africa|| Scotland
|Plate||New Zealand||34 - 12||Australia|| Samoa
|Bowl||England||26 - 15||France|| Argentina
|Shield||United States||12 - 10||Canada|| Georgia
- "IRB Sevens World Series 2008-09 (Referee) Selections" (PDF). International Rugby Board. 2008-09-01. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- "Emirates unveils Dubai venue 'The Sevens'". International Rugby Board. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- "USA Rugby receives major Sevens boost" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 2008-09-22. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
- "Rules". International Rugby Board. Archived from the original on 5 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- "Rules: 16-Team Tournament". International Rugby Board. 2007. Archived from the original on 21 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- "Rules: 24-Team Tournament". International Rugby Board. 2007. Archived from the original on 21 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- "Overall Standings". International Rugby Board. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- "Season Player Points". International Rugby Board. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- "Season Player Tries". International Rugby Board. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- Official tournament site
- "2008-09 Season Player Points and Tries". irb.com. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2013.