Olympic Sevens: Japan Stun The Sevens World

Team Great Britain have topped Pool C in Men’s Rugby Sevens at the Rio Olympics, after a history-making first day of action. As Great Britain take a commanding place, Japan Stun the Sevens World with an upset win over New Zealand that has rugby fans buzzing.

The British teams placing did not come without a fight, but Great Britain went two-for-two at Deodora Stadium. In a day full of talking points, Japan came within two points of topping Pool C after their epic opening match. That was due when the Asian Qualifiers rocked World Rugby Sevens, when Japan beat the 12 time World Sevens Series champions.

Japan Beat New Zealand 14-12 In Historic Upset

The biggest talking point of the day will be Japan, and how they upset one of the great international Sevens sides. Like they did in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Japan ‘shocked the world’ in Rio. Beating New Zealand was a result no one expected, but it has set the tournament alight. Their calmness with ball in-hand is to be admired. The results today prove, again, that Japan is a strong  rugby nation.

In another fabulous result, Japan nearly drew with the other Pool C heavyweight Great Britain, in their second clash of the day. It places japan in second place, behind Team GB.

For Great Britain; a side made up of players from three UK nations, it was the strong win against Kenya early in the day that secured their place at the top of Pool C.

Injury removes key players

The second big talking point will be the tournament-ending injury to high-profile All Black Sevens superstar Sonny Bill Williams. Just prior to halftime in that epic loss to Japan, Williams suffered a partial Achilles rupture. This will sideline him for up to nine months. Sevens specialist Joe Webber is also out for the rest of the tournament, after suffering a shoulder injury. In an unfortunate series of events, Webber had replaced Williams.

Both men will now take no further part in the Rio Olympics.  It is also likely that SBW will miss all chances of representing the All Blacks XV side during this years Internationals. Anton Lienert-Brown and Seta Tamanivalu have been called into the squad as cover, but his removal from the Olympic campaign puts to an end the skilled rugby players dreams of Gold.

New Zealand Fail To Convince With Average Showing

For all the hype and planning ahead of the Rio Sevens, Gordon Tietjens men fell well-short of the mark, and deserved to go down to Japan in their opening match in pool play. The All Black Sevens men looked disjointed and daunted by the occasion. Two tries from each team were only separated by a missed conversion [2 points]. Japan’s superior defence stopped Gillies Kaka from scoring a late match-winning try, putting a full-stop on the historic 14-12 victory.

Japan Stun The Sevens World

All Black Sevens captain Scott Curry labelled his sides performance against Japan as terrible.

We had no possession in the first half, but we played pretty terribly to be honest. When we did have the ball we knocked it on.

The All Black Sevens improved in their second clash of the day against Kenya. The side appeared far more clinical in their performance. Kaka and DJ Forbes were rested for this must-win clash, as New Zealand ran in five tries and came out comfortable 28-5 winners. Kenya were amped up for the match, their star player Dennis Ombachi working extra hard. Falling behind on the scoreboard, they could not complete a ‘black day’ for the Kiwis.

Great Britain Impress Most With Two Wins, As Kenya Disappoint

Kenya were surprisingly disappointing in their two matches on day four of the Sevens competition. Against Great Britain in their first match, turnovers at the breakdown saw four tries given up in the first half alone. The Singapore Sevens winners could only manage a single try against the Brits and went down 31-7.

The Kenyans struggled with poor discipline against New Zealand in their second outing of the day. After scoring in the corner, Collins Injera went from ‘hero to zero’ ordered from the field after a high tackle on Scott Curry which led to a penalty try.

After day four of the Sevens competition, Great Britain are in a good position to fight for the Gold Medal. The All Black Sevens’ chances remain alive, albeit slim. Japan could also go through as well but today will be remembered for their emphatic win over the NZ team.

Day 4 Results – Pool C

Great Britain 31 – 7 Kenya

Japan 14 – 12 New Zealand

Great Britain 21 – 19 Japan

New Zealand 28 – 5 Kenya

Tomorrow see’s the final pool games, before the Quarter finalists are decided. New Zealand must beat the top seeds, if they are to reach the knockout stages. Japan will want to execute well against Kenya to secure their placing. It all looks set to have fans at Deodoro Stadium cheering on the Olympic Rugby Sevens action once again.

Follow Last Word On Sports for all the results and team analysis.

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