On a day where history was made, we spoke to the stars of the women's game who lit up the first day of Rio 2016. 


Camille Grassineau was ecstatic with France's 24-7 win over Spain in the first-ever Olympic sevens match and afterwards admitted that she barely noticed her moment of history.

"I really didn't realise that it was the first (try)," she admitted. "We were so focused on the event itself and winning all our matches. It was a small bonus, that's how I look at it. It's also nice for the team to be so grounded after the win, and I think it bodes well for the future."

Pool B rivals New Zealand also went through day one unbeaten and star player Kayla McAlister marked her birthday with four tries in the Rio sunshine. Speaking after their opening win over Kenya, she said it had been a real honour to finally play in the Olympic Games.

"It's been a long time coming - four years - and it's really exciting to get out there and the pitch is perfect. We hadn't come up against Kenya before so we didn't know what to expect, but we stuck to our game plan and it worked out well."

It also worked out well for her team-mate Portia Woodman, who showed the kind of form that fans of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series are used to, scoring four tries in the Deodoro Stadium in front of passionate and energetic crowds.

"It was an awesome feeling and obviously the Olympics is going to bring that atmosphere," Woodman added. "Having our whanau crew up there (in the crowd) ... it was really cool. It was awesome to get out on the field - we have been training for a month solidly now and nice to a get good game under our belt."

Beatriz Futuro Muhlbauer was among the Brazil team who brought the crowd to its feet on day one as they took on Great Britain and Canada. 

"It feels great to represent my country here in Rio. I feel like I'm hosting everyone here!" she said after their opening game against Team GB.

"I think we had a great first half but in the second we made too many mistakes and they capitalised on them. We need to keep the ball and if it's not on, don't do it. We need to be more calm and not make mistakes, otherwise it will be complicated."

Team GB's Natasha Hunt was was happy with how her side dealt with the Rio experience after defeating the hosts 29-3.

"I don't think we made hard work of it. We never underestimated Brazil, they're the home nation, their crowds are incredible and they always work so hard for each other.

"We knew it was going to be an incredibly tough game but it was nice to see us settle into it. There were a few nerves at the start of it and we made a few uncharacteristic errors but hopefully that's gone now."

Canada finished the day on top of Pool C after beating Japan 45-0 and Brazil 38-0 and will face a pool decider with Team GB on day two. 

Captain Jen Kish was feeling confident after the Japan match: "The momentum is building for us. We have got to set the tone and we’ve set it. We look forward to the other match later today to continue to set to the tone, to let other teams know that we’re here to win and to win a gold medal, nothing less."

Fiji captain Ana Maria Roqica felt her side's improved fitness was the reason for their win over USA in the first round of matches. 

“USA are a very good team and we managed to beat them, it’s great. The communication of the girls on the field helped us today. We managed to get our fitness back over the last few weeks and we’ve been training with the (Fiji) men. On the series, we were tired after every half, but today I didn’t see one girl look down at the ground. They held their heads up and kept pushing each other today."

Spain, who qualified for Rio 2016 by winning the repechage in Dublin in late June, were beaten in both their matches on Saturday, against France and New Zealand, leaving playmaker Patricia Garcia disappointed.

"We’re really happy to be here, to have qualified and to take part in the first historic game of rugby sevens in the Olympics. But really, we’re disappointed with our performances. We knew our game plan pretty well but the other teams dominated us. New Zealand are clearly one of the teams to win the gold so yes, it was tough."

World series champions Australia are safely into the quarter-finals after wins over Colombia and Fiji left co-captain Sharni Williams content with their day one efforts.

"It was pretty awesome (to finally play in the Olympic Games). We talked about this - it's a litle bit like the world series but the next level up. This is the pinnacle of the sport and this is where you want to do your best.

"Tomorrow is going to be tough with another pool game and then the quarter-final so we've really got to show up."

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