Team GB are still going strong heading into the final day of the women’s rugby sevens tournament at Rio, reaching the semi-finals.
The group stage built up to Britain’s top of Pool C clash with Canada, with the winner taking top spot. But the British girls brought their A game, barely giving their opponents a look-in during the 22-0 victory, with Emily Scarratt going over the whitewash twice.
This set up a quarter-final clash with Fiji, who are always at the fore on the men’s circuit. Abbie Brown got Britain off to a perfect start, scoring off the kick-off, but just two minutes later Fiji squared it up when the powerful Litia Naiqato broke through the English defences just five metres from the line. Team GB then put their foot on the accelerator and pulled away from the Fijians, with Danielle Waterman going over just before the half-time whistle, and Brown taking advantage of some poor defence during the second period. They eventually ran out 26-7 winners, setting up a semi-final clash with second seeds, New Zealand, on Monday.
The All Blacks qualified for the semis by defeating France in their final group match 26-7 to take top spot in Pool B. In the quarter-final they faced off against USA, who got through to the knockouts by being one of the better third placed sides, but they had been underperforming thus far in the tournament. They played much closer to their best rugby against New Zealand, and gave the Kiwis a real scare in the final match of day two. Portia Woodman got the crucial try for New Zealand, as they picked up the win just 5-0, and incredibly close score-line for rugby sevens.
Great Britain and New Zealand will be joined in the last four by favourites Australia, as well as Canada. The Wallabies finished the group stage with an enthralling 12-12 draw with USA, which was enough to take top spot in Pool A. They then received the kindest draw in the quarters, facing Spain, with the Aussies running out as comfortable 24-0 victors.
Canada had to work much harder for their place in the semi-finals, having to recover quickly from their poor performance against the British. They faced France in their quarter-final at the Deodoro Stadium, with Les Bleus taking an early lead through Jade Le Pesq. But the Canadians kept their composure, and after Kayla Moleschi went over, they began to pull away from the opposition. Bianca Farella and Ghislane Landry scored two late tries to make sure it was Canada who went through, keeping their medal hopes alive.