Tokyo Olympics men’s rugby sevens day two recap: Medal quarter-final line-up confirmed


Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa have qualified for the medal quarter-finals unbeaten on day two of the men’s Olympic Sevens tournament at Tokyo Stadium.

New Zealand will get the last eight under way when they take on Canada, who qualified on points difference from Ireland, at 17:30 local time (GMT+9).

Great Britain, who lost their first match of Tokyo 2020 against Fiji in the morning session, will then face USA before South Africa take on Argentina for a place in the semi-finals.

The last match of day two will see Rio 2016 gold medallists Fiji play Australia at 19:00 local time in a mouth-watering clash.

Prior to the medal quarter-finals, the ninth-place semi-finals will take place with Ireland facing the Republic of Korea at 16:30 local time (GMT+9) before Kenya play hosts Japan.

Braid hat-trick helps Canada through

In the opening match of day two Canada did what they needed to do to secure a quarter-final berth, Connor Braid’s hat-trick helping to secure a 36-12 win against Pool B rivals Japan.

The hosts had been surprise semi-finalists at Rio 2016 but were knocked out of medal contention as Braid scored two of his side’s three first-half tries to give them a 19-0 lead at the break.

After Kazushi Hano had cut the deficit, Braid crossed for a third time before tries from Phil Berna and Justin Douglas confirmed Canada’s win. It was Japan captain Chihito Matsui who had the last say, however, as he streaked away to score the final try of the match.

Fiji, meanwhile, made sure of top spot in Pool B as they repeated their Rio 2016 gold medal match defeat of Great Britain, winning 33-7 at Tokyo Stadium.

The defending champions needed to work hard to beat both Japan and Canada on day one, but came out in dominant mood on Tuesday.

Asaeli Tuivuaka scored his second try in as many matches to set Fiji on their way and before the break both Sireli Maqala and Jiuta Wainiqolo touched down under the posts to help their side build a 19-0 lead.

Tuivuaka crossed the whitewash for the second time in the match within a minute of the restart, but Great Britain were determined not to let the Fijians run away as they had done in Rio.

Ben Harris got his team on the scoreboard, but as time ticked down the Fijian defence proved too strong and Aminiasi Tuimaba took advantage to score his side’s 13th try of the pool stage.

New Zealand seal top spot in Pool A

Argentina made sure of their place in the quarter-finals with a commanding 56-0 win against the Republic of Korea in Pool A.

Lautaro Bazan Velez set the tone when he crossed for the quickest try of the tournament so far, touching down after just 18 seconds. Matías Osadczuk, Santiago Mare and Luciano Gonzalez would add further tries before half-time.

Rodrigo Isgro crossed within 30 seconds of the restart, and German Schulz, Gaston Revol and Ignacio Mendy followed as Argentina compiled the biggest win in Olympic sevens history.

Australia knew a victory against New Zealand would guarantee them a place in the last eight, and Tim Walsh’s side started quickly in the final match of Pool A.

Samu Kerevi crossed in the opening two minutes and Australia dominated the first half, with captain Nick Malouf adding a second try just over a minute before the break.

But, Dylan Collier scored within 30 seconds of the second-half restart, and although he went to the sin-bin soon after, the All Blacks Sevens coped well while a man down.

Indeed, Andrew Knewstubb scored the decisive try while New Zealand only had six players on the pitch, dancing through the Australian defence to score under the posts and adding the conversion to put his side into a 14-12 lead they would not relinquish.

Heartbreak for Ireland as South Africa wrap up Pool C

Ireland were left heartbroken at the end of their final Pool C match as despite beating Kenya 12-7, Vincent Onyala’s late try meant they missed out on a place in the quarter-finals on points difference.

The Irish knew they needed to beat Kenya by more than seven points to be sure of qualification for the last eight, and made a perfect start as Hugo Lennox and Harry McNulty both scored in the opening three minutes.

Ireland dominated possession for much of the match but were unable to add to their tally and when Onyala scored with less than two minutes to go it meant they needed to score again to go through.

They were able to claim possession from the restart but as the ball was recycled to the left wing, Jordan Conroy knocked the ball on and into touch, and Irish medal hopes were over.

South Africa then secured top spot in Pool C, and a quarter-final against Argentina, when they beat the USA 17-12.

The USA made a fast start to the final match of the pool stage and took the lead with a Joe Schroeder try.

However, the Blitzboks levelled at the end of the first half as Delvyn Davids crossed the whitewash. Two quick fire tries, one from Stedman Gans and another for Davids, then allowed South Africa to take control of the match.

Brett Thompson touched down under the posts to cut the USA’s deficit to five points but it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat.