The men’s rugby sevens tournament kicked off Tuesday in Rio, with countries from all three groups seeing action on the first day.
United States 26, Brazil 0
Representing the U.S. on the world stage, Nate Ebner’s NFL compatriots and New England Patriots’ teammates were surely watching as he scored first for the Red, White and Blue in the victory. Ebner, who was granted a leave of absence from the Patriots to compete in Rio, scored his first Olympic try in the closing stages of the first half.
Ebner played more than 13 minutes in the contest, however, he was forced to spend two of those minutes in the sin bin after laying a demolishing hit on Brazil’s Gustavo Albuquerque.
Carlin Isles, Folau Niua and Maka Unufe recorded tries of their own in the game for the U.S.
Fiji 21, Argentina 14
Regarded as possible favorites to win gold in Rio, Fiji kicked off their efforts with multiple victories and currently sit atop the overall standings.
Kitione Taliga scored two tries for Fiji against Argentina, racking up 10 points. Josua Tuisova added one of his own for another five points. Osea and Vatemo added four and two points themselves to solidify the winning effort.
Australia 26, Spain 12
After the women’s team captured gold in their rugby sevens tournament, Australia’s men’s squad began their efforts to complete the sweep with a victory over Spain.
The Aussies made a habit Tuesday of spreading the scoring across its roster — four separate players each recorded tries, however, James Stannard, who scored no tries in the contest, represented six points in the game.
Parahi, Foley, Clark and Porch scored tries for Australia. Marcos Poggi was responsible for the only two tries Spain recorded in the game.
South Africa 26, France 0
South Africa looked like a well-oiled machine in the match, scoring less than a minute into the match en route to a 26-0 shutout victory. Justin Geduld, Kwagga Smith and captain Kyle Brown were all in top form, providing the Springboks with a 19-0 lead at halftime,
Dylan Sage added his name to the scoresheet in the second half while Cecil Afrika’s third successful conversion saw the men in green and gold win 26-0.
Great Britain 21, Japan 19
Great Britain ended a dramatic day one of the men’s tournament with two victories as they soared to the top of the Group C pool.
Japan failed on a conversion in the dying seconds which would have seen them tie the game.
James Rodwell racked up 10 points off two tries for Great Britain, Marcus Watson collected one try of his own. Tom Mitchell went 3-for-3 on his conversions adding another six points.