And then there were eight in the race for the final spot at the Olympic Games. Top seeds South Africa will play Uganda in Sunday’s first quarter-final, while Great Britain take on Tonga, Spain play Hong Kong China and Canada face Chile.

On a fascinating Saturday in Monaco, South Africa, Great Britain and Spain maintained their unbeaten records – though Britain had to do it the hard way, surviving a late onslaught of their line from Canada.


Tristan Leyds, brother of La Rochelle star Dillyn, scored the opening try in the final game of the day, made the second for Shilton Van Wyk, and kickstarted a length-of-the-pitch third, as South Africa made sure of a favourable quarter-final against eighth seed Uganda by going unbeaten in Pool A with a 26-7 win over previously unbeaten Chile. 

The Blitzboks had earlier made sure of a place in the last eight with a 31-7 win over Tonga, Quewin Nortje running in his third and fourth tries of the repechage weekend in Monaco to add to his touchdowns against Mexico.

Meanwhile, Fharid Samano scored Mexico’s first try against Chile since 2016 – but it was the South American side who booked early passage to the quarter-finals with a 35-10 win to go with their 14-5 victory over Tonga on Friday.

An early yellow for Fine Inisi did little to stop the Pacific Island side playing all-out attacking rugby as they beat Mexico 26-5 to ensure their place in Sunday’s quarter-final mix. They will, however, face a tough challenge against the second seeds Great Britain.


Great Britain survived two late minutes of desperate defence with just six players on the pitch to beat Canada 17-12 in a thriller to finish top of Pool B after Ross McCann was yellow carded for a high tackle. 

Earlier, Canada had come back from 14-0 down early in the first-half to beat China 33-14 in the two sides’ first meeting since 2010 and claim a quarter-final place with a match to spare, while a first-half Charlton Kerr hat-trick set Great Britain on the way to a comfortable 29-5 win over Uganda.

But Uganda will return to the Stade Louis II pitch on Sunday against the all-conquering Blitzboks, after beating China 33-15 in their final Pool B match on Saturday. 


Veteran Pol Pla got Spain on the scoreboard as they finished top of Pool C with a 35-14 win over second-placed Hong Kong China, doubling down on their 38-0 win over Brazil on day one. Despite a determined start, the South Americans were earlier well beaten by 38-0 Hong Kong China. 

Spain and Hong Kong China will meet again in the last eight on Sunday.