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Tokyo Olympic Sevens

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 28 Jun 2021, 1:29 pm

First topic message reminder :

The pools for the mens competition were announced today. Twelve teams get whittled down to eight, so the top two teams from each pool will progress, along with the best two third placed teams. The last Olympics didn't go at all to form but I'd expect NZ, Australia and Argentina to progress, since they should all handily beat Korea. After that, Fiji is almost a certainly to qualify but no-one else can be sure.

In Pool B, on form, GB should beat Canada and Japan, to qualify at least in second. A victory over Fiji isn't out of the question but they are favourites to top the group. However, Japan beat NZ in Rio, and Canada can beat top sides too, so both could cause an upset, and put us in third place, or even out. If third, then it would be a lottery if we happened to be better than the third placed finisher in Pool C. USA were in the same boat in Rio, and it cost them a place in the quarter finals.

In Pool C, while Ireland are the fourth seed, they are probably better than Kenya, and have a realistic chance to get to the quarter finals.

Pool A
New Zealand
Australia
Argentina
Korea

Pool B
Fiji
Great Britain
Canada
Japan

Pool C
South Africa
USA
Kenya
Ireland

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Post by Duty281 Thu 29 Jul 2021, 1:23 pm

Pal Joey wrote:At least you didn't place that bet, Duty. Wink

Typical Kiwi comeback. Just a pool game though. GB have a great side too.

Yep, BTTF 2 warns us all about time-travelling with the aim of making money through gambling.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 30 Jul 2021, 7:37 am

Women's Quarter Final Line-up

New Zealand v "Russia"
Australia vs Fiji
USA vs GB
France vs China

I don't follow the women's sevens, partly because the home union line-ups are always chopping and changing. New Zealand are usually head and shoulders better than anyone else but were turned over by Australia in Rio, so the are out to put that right.

GB lost to Canada in the bronze medal match in the last Olympics, so will be hoping to go one better. Unfortunately, we are up against a strong USA team in the quarter finals, who are so far undefeated.

The match is scheduled for 6:30pm Japan time, though the schedule has been disrupted today by intermittent shower storms.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 30 Jul 2021, 8:08 am

From what I've seen I wouldn't be surprised to see Fiji upset Australia. Australia made heavy weather of beating China and lost to a highly physical USA side. USA/GB probably the tie of the round with both teams in good form. Should be easy wins for NZ and France.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 30 Jul 2021, 8:43 am

Duty281 wrote:From what I've seen I wouldn't be surprised to see Fiji upset Australia. Australia made heavy weather of beating China and lost to a highly physical USA side. USA/GB probably the tie of the round with both teams in good form. Should be easy wins for NZ and France.
That sounds about right. China have been the surprise package. The Japanese womens side isn't on a par with their mens but still were expected to beat, or at least compete, with China. instead, they got smashed.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 30 Jul 2021, 8:56 am

I only caught a couple of minutes of Japan yesterday but they looked really poor

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 30 Jul 2021, 9:54 am

There's another passing storm, so the last three matches today will be delayed at least half an hour.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 30 Jul 2021, 10:50 am

That's a huge win for Fiji

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Post by Duty281 Fri 30 Jul 2021, 10:52 am

Stunning win, great game, breathless stuff. Fiji were a little fortunate - avoided a second sin-bin despite numerous pens, the actual sin-bin could have easily been red, and the referee seemed to brilliantly obstruct an Aussie defender for Fiji's first try - but their frenetic and intense defence and the way they play the game in possession is a joy to watch. They'll believe they can take anyone down.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 30 Jul 2021, 10:54 am

Australia controversially left star player Ellia Green at home. Now the Rio gold medallists have gone at the quarter final stage.

There will now be two new medallists in the womens sevens, as Canada didn't make it out of the pool this year.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 30 Jul 2021, 11:10 am

Great 1st half from GB. Stopped USA getting out of their 22 pretty much

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Post by lostinwales Fri 30 Jul 2021, 11:20 am

And they beat USA. Hell of a performance - 21-12

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 30 Jul 2021, 11:21 am

Great win for GB. That's how the men hoped to play against bigger, more powerful sides, but they just couldn't get as much possession as the women managed in that match.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 30 Jul 2021, 11:22 am

Thrilling defence. Dodging the Kiwis in the semi-finals gives GB an excellent chance of at least silver.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 30 Jul 2021, 11:23 am

The first semi-final will be between NZ and Fiji.

GB plays the winner of the next match, between France and China.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 30 Jul 2021, 11:33 am

This Chinese team is bringing its best.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 30 Jul 2021, 11:34 am

China have to do what GB did against USA: run a bigger team off their feet. It's a big ask.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 30 Jul 2021, 11:45 am

I don't think the ref is doing China any favours but their tackling isn't good enough.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 30 Jul 2021, 11:56 am

Semi finals Nz-Fiji and GB- France

I'd guess on paper GB are the lowest ranked but I don't think any of these teams will fear each other

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 31 Jul 2021, 5:12 am

Both games were crackers.

Unfortunately, France got away to a strong start and GB couldn't quite reel them in. Fiji took NZ to extra time, before the Black Ferns prevailed.

We have a chance of bronze, though Fiji have looked as strong as anyone during the tournament.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 31 Jul 2021, 6:53 am

Jamie Cudmore hasn't covered himself in glory, after mocking the Canadian womens sevens team.

Jamie Cudmore was sacked as Canada’s assistant coach on Friday night after he celebrated the failure of his country’s women’s sevens team to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympics.

Cudmore, the former Canada captain who played in four World Cups before retiring four years ago, had written a string of offensive posts in apparent response to the team having made complaints that led to the departure of their head coach in the build-up to the Games.

They also spoke up before the Olympics about racial and cultural inclusion and the historical treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

“Karma is a b----! #Survivorsmyass,” Cudmore initially tweeted before sharing an image flagged by Twitter as “potentially sensitive content”.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/olympics/2021/07/30/jamie-cudmore-faces-disciplinary-action-offensive-tweets-canada/

In all likelihood, Cudmore is, and always has been, an oaf. While he deserves to lose his role with the union, it's worth remembering he suffered some bad cases of concussion in his career, leading him to take legal action. One of the symptons is irritability & mood swings. Who knows whether something like that is at play here too.

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Post by sensisball Sat 31 Jul 2021, 7:41 am

Let's not forget that before his rugby career took off he was a debt collector for a dubious character in Canada. It may just be that under pressure he is reverting to his old strong arm mentality rather than suffering the after effects of multiple concussions.

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Post by sensisball Sat 31 Jul 2021, 7:45 am

Or maybe the effects of concussion and his proclivity to display a bullying mentality are combining to make him behave like a total a hole.

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Post by lostinwales Sat 31 Jul 2021, 10:01 am

GB lose - so 4th in both competitions. Not a fan of the ref although I don't think that affected the result. Another close game but Fiji had the edge

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Post by tigertattie Sat 31 Jul 2021, 10:14 am

Tell you what, when you watch games like these you can see why rugby isn’t universally appealing as the rules are just pick what you see.

France vs NZ and France are trying to close the gap. French player takes the ball into contact and gives away a penalty for holding on yet the NZ player with hands on in the tackle never released.

The game is getting more and more like a game of guess which infringement the ref is going to ping for
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Post by tigertattie Sat 31 Jul 2021, 10:17 am

And there we go again. French player decides to go for the ball in the tackle and it’s exactly the same as before but this time the ref pings the player for not a clear enough release.

Game is a mess
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Post by ebop Sat 31 Jul 2021, 10:31 am

Well done ladies
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Post by lostinwales Sat 31 Jul 2021, 2:34 pm

tigertattie wrote:And there we go again. French player decides to go for the ball in the tackle and it’s exactly the same as before but this time the ref pings the player for not a clear enough release.

Game is a mess

I agree. It should be clearer but it seems that the French player jackals and its a penalty to NZ.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sat 31 Jul 2021, 3:37 pm

These Olympics have clearly shown how much the Fijian men and the Black Ferns are the best teams in their two respective rugby competitions in the World.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 31 Jul 2021, 4:50 pm

aucklandlaurie wrote:These Olympics have clearly shown how much the Fijian men and the Black Ferns are the best teams in their two respective rugby competitions in the World.
They have certainly done that.

While sad for the two GB squads, especially after being let down so badly by their sporting bodies, they were part of some great matches, in competitions which were not walkovers, like some HSBC circuit events.

Japan's mens team proved to be a great story in Rio. This time, the Argentina mens squad, and Fijian women were highlights, as they also managed medals.

That doesn't take away from the winners. NZ have been stewing for years over the loss to Australia in Rio. They had to work hard to get gold in Tokyo, which I'm sure makes victory sweeter. The Fijian men always seemed to have the measure of their event but it was still a joy to see them in action.

Rugby in the USA would have seen a boost if either team had managed a medal. Still, the performance of the Chinese womens team suggests they are taking the event seriously, so long as it is the Olympics.

Sevens is a good fit for the Olympics, even if rugby people remain conflicted. As a team sport, it is competitive at both mens and womens level. It is also not dominated by the usual medal superpowers. The 12 medals awarded over two Games have been spread as follows:

NZ x 3
Fiji x 3
AUS x 1
GB x 1
Canada x 1
France x 1
Argentina x 1
South Africa x1



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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 02 Aug 2021, 3:26 pm

This interview with Ruby Tui during the competition is a gem. Slightly humbling to find out some of the NZ team donated to the GB crowdfunding effort to get to Tokyo.


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