Scott Waldrom made his name as a tearaway openside flanker for Taranaki, the Hurricanes and the Chiefs from 2004-2012. Waldrom made one appearance for the All Blacks in the historic encounter against Munster in 2008. As a sevens specialist, Waldrom played for the All Blacks Sevens from 2004-10. Waldrom has now turned his hand to coaching and continues to be involved in rugby from the grassroots up.Read more exclusive columns
Waldrom: Vital to win big in pool play
Scott Waldrom 06 Aug 2016 Getty Images
Our women’s team is first up on the big stage and they face a mixed bag in their pool but potentially face easier opposition than top seeded Australia. New Zealand should have no problems dealing with Spain and Kenya but should not take either of these teams lightly with Spain surprising many in claiming the last qualifying spot and beating some much more fancied opposition.
WATCH: @PortiaWoodman gives the latest update from the women's sevens camp. #1DayToGo #BeTheInspiration pic.twitter.com/Ei2kbBOxC3— NZ7s (@nz7s) August 4, 2016
My predictions for the women’s medal rounds look like this:
1st New Zealand Vs 8th Spain
2nd Canada Vs 7th USA
3rd Australia Vs 6th Fiji
4th Great Britain Vs 5th France
New Zealand Vs Great Britain
Australia Vs Canada
New Zealand Vs Australia
Now for the tough one, in a year where six different teams have won a World Series tournament and the margins between teams have considerably shortened, we are in for one hell of a fight for that men’s Olympic Gold.
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Pool A will see Fiji face a spirited USA and Argentina but I think Ben Ryan’s Fiji will have too much fire power. USA should have too much speed and power for an improving Argentina but this will be a big game in determining seeding going into the next rounds. All three teams should easily account for the automatic entrants Brazil meaning all three in pool A should qualify for the quarter finals.
Pool B should easily be taken out by South Africa but will feature a big match up between Australia and France to see who claims a spot in the quarter finals alongside South Africa. I can’t see Spain being too much trouble for these teams but again they will be coming out to make a name for themselves and will not roll over easily.
Finally, pool C is the one we are all interested in. Despite a late injury replacement I don’t feel New Zealand is any worse off heading into the tournament with the group of fourteen all preparing together and being on the same page. Lewis Ormond will slide right into the team of twelve with no disruption.
WATCH: #NZ7s captain @Sc0ttCurry gives the latest team update from Rio ???? #BeTheInspiration pic.twitter.com/5fIg8zNsyp— NZ7s (@nz7s) August 3, 2016
Here is my prediction for the men’s and sadly I think Kenya is going to be the unfortunate team not to make the top eight despite winning just as many games as others who will qualify.
1st Fiji Vs 8th Argentina
2nd South Africa Vs 7th France
3rd New Zealand Vs 6th Great Britain
4th USA Vs 5th Australia
Fiji Vs USA
South Africa Vs New Zealand
Fiji Vs New Zealand
Sadly with the twelve team format we might see a few teams playing each other again but I can see it following a pretty traditional outcome that has played out this season with New Zealand and South Africa meeting in the semi finals and then on to face Fiji in what will be an epic final.
How do you think it will play out? Also look out for my daily wraps and see if my predictions are correct!
The Views expressed in this article are those of the contributor and not New Zealand Rugby.