NZ sent packing; Japan march on

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 21:58
Large fiji v nz rio 7s 800

OLYMPIC SEVENS: New Zealand became the first of the tournament's big guns to be send packing at Rio.

In an emotional and spiteful quarterfinal, Fiji won 12-7, with the Kiwis - who only qualified for the play-offs after Fiji had beaten America earlier in the day - sent home empty hand.

Fiji, seeking to win the Pacific country's first-ever Olympic medal, will face Japan in the semifinal.

The Japanese continued their dream run, beating France 12-7 in the second of the day's quarterfinals.

In another dramatic game, it required a Dan Bibby try almost five minutes into sudden-death extra time, before Great Britain edged Argentina to advance to the semifinals.

South Africa will face Great Britain in the semifinal, after the BlitzBoks took revenge for a narrow pool loss by smashing Australia 22-5 in the last of the quarterfinals.


Fiji, despite the wet weather, produced some sublime handling and kept the ball alive. Eventually, the power of Josua Tuisova helped put their captain Osea Kolinisau in for five points. Rieko Ioane was then yellow-carded for an over-zealous tackle and Fiji had a huge opportunity with an extra man just before half-time. However, Gillies Kaka had other ideas, as he chipped and collected to score the try that saw New Zealand take a 7-5 lead into the half-time.

Fiji responded to coach Ben Ryan's half-time team talk and Jerry Tuwai left New Zealand clutching thin air - putting the Pacific Islanders back in front.

Emotions boiled over as New Zealand launched a late charge for a winning score, with some rather distasteful language being exchanged. However, it was Fiji who remained calm for long enough to hold on for the win and advance to the semifinals.

Japan controlled the early possession and it took two minutes for France to see the ball. However, when they did, they build up with patience and Damien Cler scored their first try. The French took that 7-0 lead into the half-time break.

Japan played a clever game and, as France are pinged for obstruction, Lote Tuqiri gets a try back. Japan continued their dream, as Teruya Goto darted through the French defence and scored the match-winning try.

It was the first scoreless half of the competition in the third of the quarterfinals, between Great Britain and Argentina. Argentina was hauled back within inches of the line twice and Great Britain didn't have a sniff at the other end  - a combination of the wet conditions, determined defence and knock-out fever contributing factors

Mark Bennett made a key break and Great Britain won the penalty, as Axel Muller infringes. They were setting up the set play and James Davies floors it down the left wing, before Santiago Alvarez caught him. Two yellow cards for foul play - Bautista Ezcurran of Argentina for a tip-tackle and James Davies of Great Britain - as the match headed into five minutes of sudden-death extra time.

It was Dan Bibby that produced the match-winning score, a sniping break and a try with less than a minute remaining on the clock.

Australia and South Africa met earlier in the day - when the Aussie were in command and recorded a narrow win. However, the BlitzBoks controlled the quarterfinal in clinical fashion.

The BlitzBoks - out to make amends - started the scoring when Kyle Brown made a beautiful inside pass and Rosko Specman went over for the try. South African then exploited the numbers out wide to put Seabelo Senatla away for the try, before Tom Cusack pulled one back with a trademark burst - 10-5 to the BlitzBoks at the break.

The BlitzBoks scored first after the break, captain Kyle Brown barging his way over from a line-out five metres out - a crucial try. Senatla then put the matter beyond doubt, after he punched on a loose ball inside the Australian in-goal area - following a kick ahead and a scramble just short of the line. It gave South Africa a 22-5 win.

Fiji 12-7 New Zealand
Japan 12-7 France
Great Britain 5-0 Argentina (sudden death extra time - it was scoreless at the end of regulation time)
South Africa 22-5 Australia

Minor play-offs (ninth to 12th place):

The United States had the early chance with a break down the right-hand wing, but Nate Ebner was penalised for holding on. The Brazilians' response was immediate and it came from Daniel Sancery. The Brazilians lose the ball in a promising position and it's scooped up by Carlin Isles for an immediate response.

Madison Hughes was the linchpin in the middle and Nate Ebner was making up for his early mistake. The result was three tries - including two more from Carlin Isles and a comfortable half-time lead.

With the home crowd behind them, Lauren Couhet caught the United States napping in the middle of the field. He took route one and accelerated in under the posts. It was not enough to change the outcome for Brazil and the United States progress into the ninth-place play-off.

It took a while for both sides to get into the game. That was until Collins Injera, with a quick break and a pass to Samuel Oliech, sparked life into the game. Although the pass was deemed to be forward, it was the spark that the Kenyans needed and Andrew Amonde made no mistake a few plays later. Spain swung three quick passes to find Marcos Poggi out wide and he accelerated away from Oscar Ouma.

Marcos Poggi doubled his try-scoring tally, after a beautifully weighted cross-field kick from Angel Lopez. Kenya needed a try and they got one - Oscar Ayodi bumping off the final Spanish defender and put Billy Odhiambo in for the try. However, they ran out of time and Spain celebrated a famous victory.

The result sets up a ninth-place play-off between Spain and the United States.

United States 24-12 Brazil
Spain 14-12 Kenya

Source: @WorldRugby7s

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Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Brazil 7s 0 0 0 0 1
Korea Sevens 0 0 0 0 10
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Japan Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Portugal Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens
Zimbabwe 7s