Olympic Sevens: Day 2

Team GB had one remaining opponent in the Pool stages and that was the curiously under-performing New Zealand side.

Things went true to recent form from the Japan game as Great Britain took a commanding lead with some great play, going in 21-0 up at half time. The scoring was opened with a chip and chase from Mark Bennett who re-gathered then side-stepped two men in black before dotting down. They then did what they had in their previous game and struggled for possession as New Zealand slowly crept back in. In the end it was another missed conversion that did for their opponents but sterling defensive work and some nice jinking running from Mark Robertson ran down the clock to sit Team GB atop their pool and set up a quarter final appearance later that day against Argentina.

The quarter final saw a switch to rainy conditions which made slick handling tricky – although Fiji sure seemed to try when they dispatched New Zealand in the first quarter final.

It may well go down as the most gripping bad game of sevens ever, with the score at 0-0 come half time, and then again come full time when both sides were down to 6 men for a couple of iffy tackles. With a single score all that was required, we witnessed the unlikely scene of penalty drop-goals being taken to secure a 3-0 win, first Argentina missed then Tom Mitchell knocked his off the post. Luckily Great Britain were able to regather possession and Dan Bibby crossed for the game’s first and only try. For the Scots, Mark Robertson didn’t get on and Bennett had some strong runs and tackles as he has all tournament, but also spilled a few balls that in dryer conditions would have been snaffled and led to scores.

A nailbiter, and a semi final now lies ahead. Also there are strong favourites Fiji who will play Japan, while Team GB will face South Africa in the other semi tomorrow.

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