Sonny Bill Williams is out of the Olympics with injury.
Sonny Bill Williams is out of the Olympics with injury. DAN HIMBRECHTS

RIO 2016: Shocks on day one of sevens

RUGBY SEVENS: Australia's men's team has kept its quarter-final hopes alive with a 26-12 win over Spain at Deodoro Stadium on Wednesday morning.

The win rounded off a mixed day for the Aussies who lost their first clash of the Rio tournament to France 31-14.

Coach Andy Friend's team must beat third seed South Africa in Thursday morning's (1.30am AEST) final group game to stand any chance of reaching the last eight.

Friend had mixed feelings after a patchy first day but did praise his players after recovering from the defeat to France.

"I'd describe today as 'piecy'. Game one is behind us but we didn't respect the ball,” Friend said.

"We talked about it after but possession is everything.

"The second game was all about the win so I was happy with that, but still we need to be much better.

"I think we probably had a few nerves today, perhaps it's the enormity of the environment we're in, but to get the win over Spain was pleasing.

"The key for us is to get into the quarter-finals.

"We will play a tough team regardless if we make it.”

The Aussies were dealt a blow, with playmaker Lewis Holland out of the rest of the tournament with a hamstring injury.

There was also a double blow for New Zealand, which lost to Japan 14-12 in its first group game and then saw star man Sonny Bill Williams ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a partly ruptured Achilles tendon.

The Kiwis did bounce back by beating Kenya to revive their medal hopes,

Japan then lost to Great Britain 21-19, which made the last eight after an earlier win over Kenya.



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