Rugby sevens at its dramatic best as Olympic Games quarter-finals are set

World champions New Zealand and Australia faced nervous waits to secure best third-place spots


Great Britain beat New Zealand  to top Pool C on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men’s rugby sevens 

Japan upset the odds to qualify for the quarter-finals on another session of high drama in the men’s rugby sevens competition at the Olympic Games.

The Japanese followed their historic victory over New Zealand and narrow defeat to Great Britain on day one with an impressive 31-7 victory over Kenya, while reigning HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions Fiji maintained their dreams of winning a first-ever Olympic Games medal for their nation by topping Pool A.

If event success was on excitement and breath-taking athleticism, then rugby sevens has certainly made an impression at the Rio 2016 Games. With no team having guaranteed a place in the last eight, and nine teams still in the hunt at the start of the morning, the final round of pool matches did not disappoint.

Every session has delivered a compelling story and owing to the exciting three-pool format, there was drama in abundance as New Zealand and Australia faced anxious waits to see whether they would qualify as the best third-placed teams.

Pool A
Series champions Fiji confirmed their position at the top of the pool with a 24-19 win over USA, which knocked the Americans out of medal contention. The result also confirmed New Zealand and Australia’s passage as the two best third-placed teams on points difference.

Pool B
South Africa and France were first to secure their places courtesy of a series of results that set up a three-way tie on points at the top of Pool B. Despite losing 12-5 to Australia, South Africa finished top with France second thanks to a 26-5 win over Spain. Australia faced a nervous wait, but were later confirmed as one of the two best third-placed teams.

Pool C
Japan maintained their excellent form, defeating Kenya 31-7 in their final pool match to guarantee a quarter-final place as runners-up. The result teed-up a mouth-watering pool decider between Great Britain and New Zealand, which Team GB held on to win 21-19 to top the pool.

Olympic Games men’s rugby sevens quarter-finals
Fiji v New Zealand (17:00)
Japan v France (17:30)
Great Britain v Argentina (18:00)
South Africa v Australia (18:30)

Positional play-offs
Placing 9-12: USA v Brazil (16:00)
Placing 9-12: Spain v Kenya (16:30)