All the results from the Games in Tokyo
Olympic Women’s Sevens – Semi-finals
And now we know who will contest the gold medal match in the women’s sevens at the Olympic Games – New Zealand will play France for the big one, while Fijiana and GB will be going hell for leather to get that bronze medal.
And while the Kiwis have been the unbeatable team in this competition thy’ve not had it all their own way. In the pool stages GB ran them very, very close, and here the Black Ferns were forced to win it in extra time, with it 17-all at the end of regulation play. None other than Reapi Ulunisau scored at the end of regulation time to extend the drama, and in the fresh time a try from Gayle Broughton (one of the sport’s true hot-steppers) was enough to seal the deal.
In the second semi, France were able to fend off the team from Great Britain – physically and metaphorically, winning 26-19. Tries round the fringes from Anne-Cecile Ciofani and Seraphine Okemba came as the rangier players powered past the cover. But on the other end Jasmine Joyce needed no such shoves to create her space as she only needs milimetres of space to burn away and score. She got herself two scorching tries in the first half to give GB hope.
However, France always kept some semblance of control, and after going in 21-12 ahead at half time, they went about sealing the result with one last Ciofani score which came right from the kick-off, that GB spilled. There was a late try for Hannah Smith but they just could not chase it down in the end.
Next up is Fijiana for the bronze. The Pacific Islanders have started matches like a rocket, but so have GB at times. Who will secure the medal?
That bronze medal match will kick off at 9.30am UK time, and then the gold medal match will be played at 10am (UK time).
Olympic Women’s Sevens – Quarter-finals
It was a set of sevens quarter-finals to set tongues wagging. If it wasn’t a sky-rocketing Fijiana side resigning the 2016 gold medalists Australia to defeat, it was the Black Ferns dominating Russia and then the effervescent Ruby Tui delivering an incredible post-match interview to the BBC. By the time Team GB shell-shocked the US, fans will have needed to catch their breath.
The semi-finals tomorrow will be:
New Zealand – Fiji
GB – France
There were six tries for New Zealand who look in ominous form – but also relaxed with the pressure of this event too. And Portia Woodman is growing into this meet, getting herself two tries against Russia. They will face Fiji tomorrow, in the semi-finals. It should be a cracker, after Fiji defeated Australia 14-12.
This Fiji side are all go and while Ana Maria Naimasi and Rusila Nagasau control so much of what they do, keep your eyes on Reapi Ulunisau who has been a blistering highlight of these Games.
As for GB, their 21-12 victory over the USA will send a warning sign. As Rob Vickerman said in commentary, it was like a “fly-weight fighting a heavyweight” in terms of size, but as coach Scott Forrest said after the game, “Our attitude in defence was the standout.” They smothered the Americans and when they had their chances they took them with a ruthless efficiency (having try-obsessed Jasmine Joyce also helps!)
But France have been producing some free-wheeling stuff too, with Seraphine Okemba and Anne-Cecile Ciofani impressing at full-pelt, and with Fanny Horta and Camille Grassineau dictating the flow of the rhythm of play between breaks. Their 24-10 win over China ensures their place in the semis.
Who do you have as the medal favourites?
Olympic Women’s Sevens – Session Three
Sevens can dance down razor thin margins and as USA and Australia women showed in the final round of group matches, you just never know what your dance partners will do in the biggest of meets. The US defeated the reigning Olympic champs by 14-12 to create a fascinating quarter-finals line-up.
That result – that really came down to a Nicole Heavirland conversion of Abby Gustaitis’s try in the second half – as well as the fact that a hefty France win over Canada (31-0) twinned with Russia only losing 33-0 to New Zealand (yes, we’re aware ow mad that sounds, but one point more for the Kiwis and the picture is very different!) means the 2016 bronze medal-winners are out, Russia are through to the quarters, as are Chine, who won 29-0 against Japan.
So your quarter-final matches in the Olympics are:
New Zealand – ROC
Fiji – Australia
USA – GB
France – China
We landed here after blowout wins for Fijiana over Brazil too (41-5) and GB over Kenya (31-0) too. But after seeing all of the teams complete their three-match pool runs, can we predict a team totally set on their path to a medal? New Zealand still look strong and face a Russian Olympic Committee side that has already fastened a saddle to the their luck.
Related: Olympics Rugby Women’s Team Guide
But calling the other, at this stage looks – thankfully – pretty tough. Which makes for a spicy next session.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about who’s leading the try-scoring charts, after their rout of Brazil, where Fijiana’s Reapi Ulunisau scored four, she is leading the sprint with six. But next in line is NZ’s Michaela Blyde, with five. No one else is near them…. For now.
Olympic Women’s Sevens – Session Two
Earlier today we asked: “when does sevens always go entirely to script?” Well Fijiana listened and New Zealand gave us a cliffhanger ending to their tie with Team GB women.
Before Fiji’s match-up with Canada, the odds were with the 2016 bronze medalists. However, Fijiana physically dominated, winning 26-12. Canada could not lay a finger on the Pacific side, who went in 21-0 up at half-time. Having pushed France close earlier in the day, narrowly losing out, it looks like they have found their feet in this competition.
France were punishing against Brazil, though, winning 40-5, while Australia were given a good game by China women before eventually pulling away to a 26-10.
The USA side displayed their power game against hosts Japan for their second win in a row, taking the tie 17-7 – Japan were busy in defence, but the States continued to make yardage post contact and tries from Ilona Maher and Jordan Matyas after sustained carrying displayed just that.
New Zealand had to come from behind to win it against Team GB, who were inspired in the first half, racing to 21-0 ahead, before the Kiwis began working back to 21-12 at half-time. The Black Ferns have confidence and composure… and Michaela Blyde. Key players made errors at crucial times, but when Blyde decided to put the foot down she was unstoppable and came away with a hat-trick. New Zealand won 26-21.
There are some crackers ahead in session three tomorrow, with fixtures for the quarter-finals to be decided from around 3am (UK time). The big ones? Well Canada v France is a fascinating clash. Australia v USA could produce fireworks, while GB face Kenya to secure their spot. And what about Fijiana against Brazil?
Olympic Women’s Sevens – Session One
There has been five years since the last Olympics sevens competition, but some things never change. The medal winners from last time round all enjoyed victories in the opening session of the women’s event, with Australia, New Zealand and Canada all running in wins, as well as France, USA and Team GB.
Gold medal winners last time Australia, laid down a marker with a hopping 48-0 victory over hosts Japan. That’s eight tries, including a hat-trick for the relentless Emma Tonegato, doubles for Demi Hayes and Maddison Levi, and one for popular star Charlotte Caslick.
The Kiwis (silver in 2016) ran in a 29-7 win over Kenya, while Canada (bronze in 2016) romped to a 33-0 win over Brazil.
Related: Olympics Rugby Women’s Team Guide
Team GB left it until extra time to net themselves a win against a dogged Russia Olympic Committee (ROC). Abbie Brown opened the scoring for GB and the co-captain dug real deep to pull out a winning score at the death, sliding between tired Russian defenders at the crucial time. Hollie Aitchison’s conversion made it 14-12.
Four-try United States motored ahead in the second half, after going into the half-time break 7-all with China women (Kris Thomas of the States and Wang Wanyu of China scored the openers then). Key cog for China Chen Keyi scored and converted a second, but the US pulled beyond them, with a double for Kristi Kirsche and Kaylan Canett.
Finally, France squeaked past Fiji, 12-5, with a second-half score for Seraphine Okemba the difference maker – though France skipper Fanny Horta did well to recover from a yellow card at the start of this match and return to score, herself.
In session two, the pick of the ties is GB versus New Zealand, whereas Australia, US and Canada are all expected to register second wins. But when does sevens always go entirely to script?
Keep your eyes on rugbyworld.com as we will keep you updated on all the results as the Olympic Games progress through the sessions and into the medal matches.
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