The Tokyo 2020 Olympic quarter-final line-up is taking shape following an enthralling opening day of rugby sevens at Tokyo Stadium that saw five teams make perfect starts to secure their places in the knock-out rounds.
Fiji, Great Britain, New Zealand, South Africa and USA all guaranteed their places in Tuesday’s quarter-finals by securing victories in both their matches on the opening day of Olympic action in Tokyo.
Great Britain are yet to concede a point in Tokyo, scoring 58 unanswered points following a pair of impressive 24-0 and 34-0 Pool B victories over Canada and Japan respectively.
Defending champions Fiji needed to come from behind to get their Tokyo 2020 campaign off to a winning start against hosts Japan, eventually running out 24-19 winners. And they followed up with a 28-14 victory over Canada.
In Pool A, Rugby World Cup Sevens and World Rugby Sevens Series champions New Zealand opened their Tokyo 2020 campaign with a pair of wins, beating the Republic of Korea 50-5 and overcoming Argentina 35-14.
South Africa scored five tries to kick off their Pool C campaign with a 33-14 win over Ireland and followed that with a 14-5 victory over African rivals Kenya in the final match of day one.
USA began their Olympic campaign with a 19-14 win against Kenya, and backed it up with a hard fought 19-17 victory against Ireland.
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 the final 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).
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 quarter-finals, meaning a victory for either team could keep their medal hopes alive.
Rugby World Cup Sevens and World Series holders 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.
Australia coach Tim Walsh is chasing a historic double having led the nation’s women to gold in Rio, but his side beat the All Blacks Sevens just once in eight meetings across the recent Trans-Tasman Sevens and Oceania Sevens tournaments.
Argentina take on the Republic of Korea in the other Pool A fixture, as they attempt to book their own ticket to the quarter-finals.
In the penultimate match of the pool stage, Kenya face Ireland in Pool C at 11:00 local time and both teams are still searching for their first win in Tokyo and a route into the quarter-finals.
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, with the first quarter-final — featuring the winner of Pool A and the second-best third-placed finisher — scheduled to kick-off at 17:30 local time. The last quarter-final will kick off at 19:00 local time.
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.
VIA: WORLD RUGBY