Fiji win gold in Rio

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 23:00
Large fiji v britain try 800

OLYMPIC SEVENS: Fiji made history in more ways than one - winning the first title upon rugby's return to the games.

The gold medal they won at the Deodoro Stadium in Rio is also the Pacific Island's first-ever medal in any sport at the Olympics.

Both Fiji and Great Britain came into the gold medal match unbeaten in the competition.

It was a masterclass of Sevens play by Fiji, who smashed a hopelessly outclassed British team 43-7.

The seven tries to one margin flatters a British team that was never in the game.

South Africa made amends for their earlier disappointment by blowing Japan away - winning 54-14 to win the bronze medal.

We look after all the finals!

FINAL - Fiji 43-7 Britain

Jerry Tuwai danced through three British defenders and got the pass away on the outside to Osea Kolinisau. The captain saw the line and powered over. It was a very confident start for the Fijians as Vatemo Ravouvou added the conversion.

Fiji remained composed - with Jasa Veremalua, Samisoni Viriviri and Jerry Tuwai combining with brilliant offloading to double their tally, Tuwai the scorer.

The Fijian masterclass continued unabated.

First Jasa Veremalua went over from close range. Then Leone Nakarawa plucked the ball out of the air and accelerated, before Vatemo Ravouvou added the cherry on top - 29-0 at the half-time break.

Great Britain were trying mount an attack in the early stages of the second half, but the pressure of the Fijian defence was holding them back and forcing mistakes.

Oliver Lindsay-Hague was turned over at the breakdown and as Semi Kunatani collected the ball, then offloaded to Jasa Veremalua, who stepped to score.

Great Britain may have been down heavily on the scoreboard, but they did not give up. They finally found some quick ball and Ollie Lindsay-Hague offloaded to Dan Norton, who got them off the mark.

Great Britain attempted to clear their lines from deep, but Ruaridh McConnochie got isolated. Fiji counter-rucked and Viliame Mata dove on the ball to score the try.

It was a superb ending to one of the most impressive performances that you'll see in a Gold Medal match.

Bronze medal - Japan 14-54 South Africa

Kyle Brown continued his role of being the team's 'enforcer' - winning a turnover, then sending Albertus Smith away and he, in turn, put Juan de Jongh over for the try. Cecil Afrika added the conversion and it was the perfect start for the BlitzBoks.

Rosko Specman then turned on the afterburners, as he left the Japanese defence clutching at thin air and added five more points. Cecil Afrika was on target with the conversion.

Japan finally got on the board and it was thanks to the commitment of Yusaku Kuwazuru. He shook off the very close attentions of Kyle Brown and drove over the try line.

Just as Japan thought they were back in this match, South Africa went from deep. The BlitzBoks showed their World Series experience by using every blade of grass and finished the move with the pace of Specman.

The second half started with Kenki Fukuoka and Kazuhiro Goya having made two beautiful breaks back-to-back, with Goya's producing a try. Goya then converted, but almost immediately off the restart Cecil Afrika broke away and added another try to his tally.

South Africa now went into overdrive and, in the space of just a few minutes, they added four more tries - through Cecil Afrika, Justin Geduld, Rosko Specman and Cheslin Kolbe.

It was a really impressive finish to this competition from the BlitzBoks as they've secured the bronze medal in real style.  

Fifth-place play-off - New Zealand 17-14 Argentina

New Zealand kept the ball alive and working it upfield, but Los Pumas' defence was holding strong.

That was until Rieko Ioane found a tiny bit of space on the left wing and he didn't t need a second invitation - try New Zealand!

With five seconds left on the clock, Argentina were racing downfield, but Augustine Pulu put a huge hit on Bautista Ezcurra and won a turnover. New Zealand kicked the ball out to finish the half.

New Zealand stepped up their physicality in the second half and got the reward. First Gillies Kaka punched through the defence and flicked the ball to Tim Mikkelson for the try. Then Rieko Ioane bulldozed down the middle and New Zealand were looking comfortable.

Argentina dominated the final moments of the game. Juan Imhoff and Axel Muller tag-teamed to score a breakaway try and then Matias Moroni used the last play of the game to really push New Zealand hard.

Seventh-place play-off - France 12-10 Australia

It was a quick start for the Australians. they swung the ball from left to right and worked an overlap. Con Foley got the final pass away to Henry Hutchison, who scored. They continued to pressure the French defence and Ed Jenkins looked to have scored a second, but he was pulled up for a double movement.

France burst into life and the instigator was Terry Bouhraoua, who gained the vital points to draw the game level. Bouhraoua has really had a captain's competition as he's been dangerous in every single match.  

He may be one of the oldest players in the competition but Julien Candelon was looking like a whippersnapper. He stepped two Australian defenders and accelerated over the try line. Terry Bouhraoua added the conversion to give France a 12-5 lead.

Tom Cusack was a powerhouse from the very first moment of the competition. He shook off two French defenders and gave the offload to Ed Jenkins,  who got the try. James Stannard's conversion just floated wide.

Off the restart, Australia knocked on and the French kicked the ball high into the stands to end the game.  

Source: @WorldRugby7s

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