Fiji, Britain into Rugby semifinals, Argentina upsets South Africa in Olympics

TOKYO (AP) – The podium in the Olympic rugby sevens competition will feature at least one new team after Argentina upset 2016 bronze medalist South Africa yesterday immediately after silver medalist Britain rallied from a 21-point deficit to edge the United States (US).

Defending champion Fiji beat Australia 19-0 in the last of the quarterfinals to continue its unbeaten run in Olympic competition since rugby sevens made its debut in Rio de Janeiro.

The Fijians will next play Argentina, which rallied to beat South Africa 19-14, and Britain will have to contend with top-ranked New Zealand.

The All Blacks sevens team was eliminated in the quarterfinals in Rio and is desperate to make amends in the medal rounds today. The New Zealanders rebounded from a comeback win over Australia that earned them first place in their group to score the first 21 points in a 21-10 win over Canada in the quarterfinals.

The US scored the first 21 points against Britain and appeared ready to enter the medal round but conceded four straight tries to lose 26-21. Britain lost to Fiji earlier yesterday to finish second in Pool B and, for at least half of the quarterfinal match, was on the verge of another defeat.

“Pretty unreal when you’re down like that,” British player Robbie Fergusson said.

Australia’s Henry Hutchison clings to the ball under pressure from New Zealand’s Amanaki Nicole and Scott Curry. PHOTO: AP