Japan’s remarkable journey continues as semi-finalists confirmed for men’s Olympic Games rugby sevens

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Dan Bibby scores the winning try for Great Britain in extra-time in their quarter-final with Argentina on day two of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men’s rugby sevens 

Fiji, Japan, Great Britain and South Africa have qualified for the semi-finals of the Olympic Games men’s rugby sevens, keeping their dreams of a gold medal alive as a magnificent competition heads into its final day.

With the prospect of winning the first men’s Olympic medals in 92 years adding extra motivation there was no sign of the morning session’s drama relenting. An energetic crowd in party mood were treated to four high-quality matches despite the wet conditions, demonstrating the sublime skill of the world’s top men’s players.

Fiji 12-7 New Zealand
On a day of unforgettable moments, HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions Fiji, seeking their country’s first Olympic Games medal, were pushed all the way by world champions New Zealand in a tense affair, eventually prevailing 12-7 to keep their dreams of gold alive.

Japan 12-7 France
Japan’s incredible Olympic Games journey continued with a remarkable 12-7 win over a France side they had only defeated six times in the last 21 encounters. Victory was secured with the last play of the game through Teruya Goto’s try. Their heroics have captured the hearts of a nation and firmly placed rugby back in the headlines in Japan, 10 months after their Rugby World Cup 2015 feats and ahead of Tokyo 2020.

Great Britain 0-0 Argentina (5-0 AET)
Dan Bibby was Great Britain’s hero after scoring a sudden-death try in extra-time after his side had played out a tense, but compelling 0-0 draw. The result could very easily have gone the other way. Argentina were awarded a penalty at the end of normal time, but captain Gaston Revol’s attempt drifted wide of the posts.

South Africa 22-5 Australia
South Africa booked their place in the semi-finals after defeating Australia 22-5. Tries by Seabelo Senatla and Rosko Specman in the first half and Kyle Brown and Senatla after the interval wrapped-up a win that sets-up a semi-final against Great Britain.

Semi-finals
Fiji v Japan (14:30)
Great Britain v South Africa (15:00)

Earlier in the session, USA defeated Brazil 24-12 to progress to the ninth place play-off, where they will face Spain, who overcame Kenya 14-12. Brazil and Spain will contest the 11th place play-off.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “We have seen rugby sevens played at its dramatic, competitive and compelling best throughout these Olympic Games competitions and today’s action continued to deliver stunning and absorbing rugby.

“We have the prospect of mouth-watering semi-finals tomorrow and I am sure that the world’s top men’s players will not disappoint as we will crown our first men’s rugby Olympic champions in 92 years.”

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