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Heartbreak for Team GB rugby sevens side led by Desford's Emily Scarratt

Heartbreak for Team GB rugby sevens side led by Desford's Emily Scarratt

Things were very different at the start with New Zealand looking like the powerhouse, but the fortunes of the two teams turned around as Australia's physical power set the pace and gave it a halftime 10-5 lead and the eventual 24-17 victory.

New Zealand's Portia Woodman, scores a try during the women's rugby sevens semi final match against Great Britain at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016.

The men's tournament begins at the Deodoro Stadium on Tuesday.

But a New Zealand squad containing Sonny Bill Williams - a two-time World Cup victor in the 15-a-side game and the highest-profile star competing in rugby's return to the Olympics after 92 years - won as many titles (3) as Fiji on the 10-stop world sevens circuit.

Although New Zealand would open the scoring through Kayla McAlister, Australia's skill and determination was on full-show as they scored the next three tries to cement the country's fourth gold medal at Rio.

"It is an exciting time for the rugby sevens team here in Rio", South Africa coach Neil Powell said. "We've said it all along we're strong enough to be with the best crews in the world".

Ryan, who took over as Fiji's sevens coach in 2013, knows his team is expected to win and is trying just to ensure they're peaking at the flawless time.




The Americans are the defending gold medalists, having won in 1924, but the format for the Olympics and the rugby world order has changed significantly since then. "The world knows now that women's rugby is the real deal". We've just made Australian history, rugby history.

It was not the only shock to the New Zealand team.

The woes did not end there with Joe Webber dislocating a shoulder in the defeat.

Sonny Bill Williams has been replaced by Sione Molia, one of the star players who have come into the New Zealand team during this World Series past.

Asked if he thought the Kiwis had taken the Japanese too lightly, Lemeki said: "I think they might have, but I don't think they'll be doing that again!"

The sevens rugby squad gave Canada its second team sport medal in as many Games after the women's soccer team captured the nation's attention by winning bronze four years ago in London. You have to perform for 20 minutes and you can win it or lose it in a couple of minutes.

They came up against a relentless Canada is the bronze medal match, whose rush defence put Team GB on the back foot for most the first half.

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