Argentina men and New Zealand women maintained their unbeaten records on another great day of rugby sevens at what is already being hailed as the best Youth Olympic Games ever.
For the second day running rugby sevens enjoyed a full house at the Club Atletico San Isidro sede la Boya and the home fans were delighted to see Argentina, silver medallists in Nanjing, build on big wins over Samoa and Japan on day one with victories over France (29-12) and South Africa (34-5).
Marcos Moneta and Ignacio Mendy scored three tries apiece across the two games with a Moneta double helping Argentina gain revenge for their gold medal defeat to France four years ago.
While Argentina’s place in the showpiece match is already confirmed ahead of their final pool game of the round robin competition against the USA, a straight shootout between France and Japan game will decide the other finalist.
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France go into the match with a 3-1 win record while Japan have won twice and drawn one of their four games to date, 17-17 against the USA. However, the result that could easily gone against them as, for the second match in a row, American kicker Sione Mahe missed what would have been a match-winning conversion in front of the posts.
Likewise, everything will be hanging on the result of Canada versus France to determine who New Zealand play in the final of the women’s competition.
New Zealand chalked up wins against both their prospective opponents on Sunday to continue unbeaten on another balmy day in Buenos Aires.
Enjoying the sunny conditions, the antipodeans bounced back from the concession of an early score in both games to beat France 26-12 and Canada 20-5, Montessa Tairakena scoring twice in each match.
With the scores tied at 10-10, Canada sensed the chance of an upset but Tairakena delivered for her team in the 10th minute to change the course of the match.
New Zealand conclude their pool fixtures against a Kazakhstan team that has only won one of its four games to date.
A win against Colombia in their final pool match is likely to see the South Americans take on the loser of the France v Canada game for the bronze medal. The French have a better differential (+119 against Canada’s 54) so, in the event of a draw, it would be the Europeans that advance to the final.
Even bigger crowds are expected for a third bumper day on Monday when IOC Chairman Thomas Bach will be in attendance to see the medals handed out.
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