The second day of the men’s sevens tournament at the Tokyo Olympic Games will feature a repeat of the Rio 2016 gold medal match as Fiji and Great Britain go head to head for top spot in Pool B.
Fiji famously won that match five years ago 43-7, to ensure the country’s first ever Olympic medal was gold, and will want to put on a show again when the teams meet at 09:30 local time (GMT+9).
Both sides qualified for the quarter-finals unbeaten with defeats of Canada and Japan on day one, and a third success of the Games would ensure the victorious team heads into the last eight as Pool B winners.
Great Britain will have their work cut out at Tokyo Stadium Tuesday, however. Fiji have won seven of their previous 10 World Rugby Sevens Series matches against England, who provide nine of Tony Roques’ 13-player squad.
The remaining four players represent Scotland on the World Series, who have not fared any better against Gareth Baber’s side, losing eight of their last 10 meetings.
Pool B rivals Japan and Canada will get day two under way at Tokyo Stadium at 09:00 local time, and both teams still have plenty to play for.
The two third-placed teams with the best pool stage records will earn their place in Tuesday’s medal quarter-finals, meaning a victory for either team could keep their medal hopes alive.
ARGENTINA AND AUSTRALIA TARGET QUARTER-FINAL
Argentina take on the Republic of Korea in Pool A, as they attempt to book their own ticket to the quarter-finals.
The South Americans, who narrowly missed out on a semi-final place in Rio five years ago, began their Tokyo 2020 campaign with a confident 29-19 defeat of Australia.
New Zealand eventually proved too strong for them in their second match of day one, but a win against the Koreans, who lost both of their matches on Monday, would be enough to take them through.
Rugby World Cup Sevens and World Series champions New Zealand made sure of their progress to the quarter-finals on day one, and can wrap up top spot in Pool A with victory against Australia.
Following their opening loss against Argentina, however, Australia must beat their rivals to be sure of their own place in the knockout stage. Defeat could still take the Australians through on points difference.
Australia coach Tim Walsh is chasing a historic double having led the nation’s women to gold in Rio, but his side lost all eight meetings with the All Blacks Sevens across the recent Trans-Tasman Sevens and Oceania Sevens tournaments.
SOUTH AFRICA AND USA COMPETE TO TOP POOL C
In the penultimate match of the pool stage, Kenya face Ireland at 11:00 local time and both teams are still searching for their first win in Tokyo and a route into the quarter-finals.
Kenya came up just short against the USA before losing to South Africa, while Ireland were overpowered by the Blitzboks and were then also edged by the Americans.
South Africa and the USA head into the final match of the morning session unbeaten and knowing that whoever wins will line up in the quarter-finals as Pool C winners.
Finishing top of the pool will set up a knockout match against the team that finishes second in Pool A, which mathematically could still be Argentina, Australia or New Zealand.
Those last eight matches will be played on Tuesday afternoon in Tokyo, with the first quarter-final — featuring the winner of Pool A and the second-best third-place finisher — scheduled to kick-off at 17:30 local time (GMT+9).
Prior to that, the ninth-place semi-finals will be played with the third-placed team that does not reach the last eight playing the third-best fourth-placed side at 16:30 local time. The other two fourth-placed teams will then take to the Tokyo Stadium pitch at 17:00 local time.
SOURCE: WORLD RUGBY/PACNEWS