#Rio 2016 | Recap Day 1 | Men's Sevens
Pic: World Rugby
Japan remains a team notorious for causing great upsets in rugby. After the Cherry Blossoms created a shock win against South Africa in the 15s World Cup last year, this time the Japanese proved that they are capable of beating another world class side in the shortened format of the game. In sensational style, Japan won, for the first time ever, against top-favourites New Zealand on the opening day of the Olympic Sevens men’s event.
In a thrilling encounter Kameli Soejima and Lomano Lemeki's scored a try each which was just enough to beat the All Blacks Sevens. For New Zealand their first match of Rio 2016 came with more devastating news as superstar Sonny Bill Williams has been ruled out of the tournament due to a partial Achilles tear.
Meanwhile Fiji, South Africa and Great Britain finished day one as the only unbeaten teams. Fiji started the day with a comfortable 40-12 win over hosts Brazil but had to work a lot harder in their second and final match of the day against brave Argentinians. Argentina who impressed on day one with their physical forwards won their first match 14-17 against USA despite two yellow cards, but eventually lost 21-14 to Ben Ryan’s Fijians. The Americans progressed to a 26-0 victory in their final match against Brazil including two tries from NFL-convert Nate Ebner.
In Pool B, the French team launched their Olympic campaign with a remarkable 31-14 win over Australia. France’s outstanding captain Terry Bouhraoua scored an impressive 24 points during the match. South Africa also managed to start off with a win into the tournament. Against Spain, the final team to qualify for Rio, the Boks smoothed to a 24-0 victory. Spain also struggled in their second match when they lost to Australia 26-12 later in the day. The much anticipated match between the two unbeaten teams from Pool B between France and South Africa turned out to be a one-sided affair as Justin Geduld, Kwagga Smith and Kyle Brown sealed the deal with a clear 19-0 win for South Africa.
Team GB went unbeaten through the first two matches of the pool stage after a fine performance against Kenya in the opening match (31-7 win) and a much tighter 21-19 win against the stunning Japanese, a match that almost ended in a draw, but a missed conversion from Katsuyuki Sakai resulted in two out of two wins for Great Britain. New Zealand recovered well from their shock defeat against Japan by beating Kenya 28-5.
With only three teams unbeaten, all eight quarter-finals places are still up for grabs and will be determined after the final pool matches on Wednesday. The sessions gets underway at 11:00 local time (-4 hrs BST).