Sevens has proved a huge success in its first Olympics with tries and points aplenty in the 14-minute matches.
Team GB’s hopes of a medal in the inaugural women’s Rugby Sevens were crushed by Canada on Monday night – the team they had beaten 22-0 a day earlier.
GB met Canada in the third-fourth place play-off after being hammered by New Zealand earlier in the day, a defeat that clearly had repercussions. Canada were just too strong and ran out convincing winners 33-10 leaving the British team in tears at the Deodoro Stadium.
GB only briefly had hope in the play-off when Danielle Waterman reduced the arrears to two points in the first half with a try but captain Emily Scarratt was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock on and Canada ran riot.
Jasmine Joyce scored late on but it was never going to alter the outcome and a campaign that began with such promise ended in heartache. “It is so sad to watch for GB,” Sir Clive Woodward, watching on, said. “This is a shadow of the team which beat Canada just yesterday. To leave the Games after finishing fourth will take some getting over.”
Earlier the All Blacks had won 25-7 in a thrilling, fast-paced match as Team GB paid the price for a loss of discipline. GB’s number count was cut to five when two players – Katy McLean and Amy Wilson for a high tackle – were sent to the sin bin in quick succession around half-time.
Five v seven ain’t easy, especially when the seven are All Blacks. And New Zealand made them pay, running in tries for fun. Even when it was seven aside GB were, in truth, outclassed as the All Blacks displayed a dazzling array of skills, superb handling and gorgeous footwork.
Portia Woodman was the pick of the bunch running in a hat-trick. Australia, the pre-tournament favourites, beat New Zealand to claim gold in the final producing another step up in class and to confirm how far Great Britain still have to travel. Team GB made a slow start in their opening game eventually beating hosts Brazil on Saturday before crushing Japan 40-0 in their second match.