Rio 2016: Australia among qualifiers as sevens debuts


Favourites Australia were among five women's teams to qualify for the quarter-finals on a historic first day of rugby sevens competition at the Olympic Games on Saturday.

Sevens was added to the Olympic schedule for the first time at the 2016 Games in Brazil and there were tries aplenty for those watching on at the Deodoro Stadium.

Charlotte Caslick scored a hat-trick as Australia, top of the World Rugby Sevens Series standings, hammered Colombia 53-0 in their Pool A opener and they dished out a 36-0 thrashing to Fiji to reach the last eight at a canter.

Well fancied New Zealand also sauntered into the quarter-finals, with Portia Woodman claiming three of eight tries in a Pool B thrashing of Kenya and another in a 31-5 hammering of Spain.

France won the first match of the competition 24-7 against Spain and went on to see off Kenya 40-7 to qualify for Sunday's quarter-finals.

Great Britain and Canada were the other two nations to seal their passage from Pool C.



Camille Grassineau of France will go down in history as scoring the first ever Olympic sevens try, taking just three minutes to touch down against Spain.


"I think because we've done so well in Brazil previously we've gained some home-grown support. We love the Brazilian supporters because they're just like Australians: they like to party, they love to sing and dance and drink, and they wear green and gold. It's perfect," - Australia's Alicia Quirk welcomed the support of the locals on day one of competition. 

"They're a bit cheeky, you know? They like to play cheeky. I know how they like to play because I was born there myself. It's fun playing against them, always a good run around the back," - Australia's Ellia Green on Fiji's physical approach.

"I suppose it's good because we're able to build that momentum. In patches we were a little bit rusty out there, so we'll be able to fix that overnight and perform against France. I don't know if there's minnows any more. Now it's at the Olympics it's amazing and actually building women's rugby," - New Zealand's Sarah Goss on facing the more unfancied teams on Saturday.



One pool game remains for each nation with another three quarter-final spots up for grabs, with the last-eight encounters to follow later on Sunday.