World Rugby Sevens Repechage 2024: Final Olympic qualification gets underway

We recap all the action from day one in Monaco as the likes of Great Britain, Spain, South Africa and China tread the final road to Paris.

The World Rugby Sevens Repechage got underway in Monaco as Spain, Great Britain and South Africa top their respective pools in the men’s competition, while China, Argentina and Uganda lead the way in the women’s after day one.

China, newly qualified for the 2025 HSBC SVNS series and favourites this weekend, started with a dominant 55-0 win over Mexico, before Uganda and Argentina recorded confident wins over Jamaica and Samoa respectively.

Meanwhile, Spain kicked off the men’s competition hoping to repeat their successes in 2016 when they won Olympic qualification from this stage, and did so in style as they won 38-0 against Brazil to top Pool A. In Pool B, Rio silver medallists GB recovered from early struggles to beat China 35-19, while South Africa eased to a 44-0 win over Mexico in Pool A.

Elsewhere, Canada's men made the first steps to putting a tough season behind them as they won 31-12 over a strong Uganda side to end a 29-game losing streak. 

Men’s Repechage 

Pool A 

The Blitzboks raced to a 24-0 lead over Mexico in the first half after a brace from Tiaan Pretorius, before a yellow either side of the break for Pascal Nadaud saw Mexico reduced to six as they chased the game. With an open field, South Africa powered on, Pretorius sealing his hat-trick in the final play with his side’s eighth try of the game. 

Chile battled to a tight 14-5 victory over Tonga in Pool A to make a strong start to their weekend in Monaco. Chile led 7-5 at half time and advanced their lead after a long period of attack, Luca Strabucchi crossing to take a 14-5 lead with just over two minutes left. Tonga attacked desperately as they chased the game, but the attack turned quickly into another defensive set as they were unable to overcome the South American lead.

Pool B 

China’s Li Haitao scored a quick brace against GB to take his side 12-0 up inside the first few minutes. GB had already lost Tom Emery to injury but overcame the adversity, taking a slim 14-12 lead into the break thanks to vital tries from Morgan Williams and Kaleem Barreto. Will Homer added a third shortly after half-time following a Barreto break, and got himself another as he shrugged off Chinese tackles on the way to the line. A try at the death for Liu Luda gave China some energy to take into tomorrow despite the 35-19 scoreline in GB’s favour.

Philip Wokorach opened the scoring within the first minute for Uganda against Canada, but a powerful run from Matt Oworu soon got one back for the Canadians as he dotted down under the posts. Oworu turned provider for their second as Cooper Coats was the man to barrel over for their second, before adding Canada’s third for himself. Uganda had barely had the ball since the opening stages, but Adrian Kasito took a chance for his side in the second half as he gathered a loose Canada pass and sprinted 80 metres with minutes to go. Canada, however, held out for a 31-12 win.

Pool C

Spain made short work of Brazil in their first game of the weekend as they cantered to a 38-0 win. The Spaniards took a 19-0 lead into half time as two tries from Enrique Bolinches and one from Juan Ramos saw them take control. It was much the same in the second half, Pol Pla, Eduardo Lopez and Jeremy Trevithick sealing a strong win.

Women’s Repechage

Pool D

It was all square at the break between Argentina and Samoa, both sides crossing once for a tight 5-5- scoreline. Despite a huge hit on Talia Rodich, it was Argentina who restored their lead soon into the second period, two quick tries from Josefina Padellaro and Maria Brigido Chamorro taking them 12 points ahead. Time was against Samoa, and after some neat footwork from Padellaro saw a final score, Argentina secured a 26-5 win. 

Pool E

Cinthia Cristaldo’s 60-metre effort opened the scoring in Paraguay’s contest with Hong Kong China, but the latter hit back with three tries before the break to lead 15-10, Araceli Nicoli seeing yellow for Paraguay. Hong Kong China moved 26-10 ahead in the second, but Cristaldo struck again with another superb effort, beating three defenders on her way to the try line. However, it was too little too late for the South American side, Hong Kong China captain Natasha Olson-Thorne's late score ensuring a 33-15 victory.

Uganda opened their account this weekend with a 29-0 defeat of Jamaica in Pool E. Tries came from all corners as they took a 17-0 lead into the break, before a second half brace from Peace Lekuru sent them to the top of the pool after day one in Monaco.

Pool F

Poland bounced back from a difficult weekend in Madrid to kick off their Olympic qualification bid with a 24-7 win over Czechia. After a slow burn first half it was the Czech side who crossed first, Kristýna Riegertová with the opening score, but Poland responded strongly in the second half, a flurry of four tries seeing them home. 

China were close to perfect in their opening game of the tournament, five first half tries including a hattrick from Chen Keyi taking them to a 29-0 lead at half time as Mexico struggled to hold on to the ball. Mexico looked brighter in the second half but couldn’t convert possession into points, with turnovers at the breakdown leading to a quick Ma Xiao Dan brace. Gu Yaoyao's try added late misery to Mexico as China won 55-0.

Last updated: Jun 21, 2024, 3:32:56 PM
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