Rugby

Canadian men's rugby 7s squad winless through 2 games in Olympic debut

The Canadian men's rugby sevens team fell for the second time on Monday, losing 28-14 against reigning Olympic champions Fiji after being shut out by Great Britain.

Canada overwhelmed by Rio champions Fiji, silver medallists Great Britain

The Canadian men's rugby sevens team lost 28-14 against Fiji in Tokyo on Monday. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)

The Canadian men's rugby sevens team fell for the second time on Monday, losing 28-14 against reigning Olympic champions Fiji. 

But it was a vastly different match compared to earlier frustrations for the Canadians at the Tokyo Stadium. In its opener against Great Britain, the men failed to generate any momentum and suffered a 24-0 loss.  

Captain Nathan Hirayama scored Canada's first much-needed try against Fiji and kicked two converts. Justin Douglas of Abbotsford, B.C., was responsible for the other. 

Fiji's Napolioni Bolaca blasted through a hole to score Fiji's first try and kicked two converts. Jiuta Wainiqolo, Aminiasi Tuimaba and Asaeli Tuivuaka each had a try to their name, with Waisea Nacuqu delivering the other two converts.

The Canadians were able to hold off Fiji, who opted for a scrum in their own zone after Matt Mullins was shown a yellow card for throwing the ball away. 

Douglas nearly had another scoring chance ahead of delivering his first try at the Olympics, but failed to get ball across the goal line. 

The Canadians previously defeated Fiji in Vancouver at the HSBC Canada Sevens in 2020. 

WATCH l Canada falls to Great Britain in men's rugby 7s:

Canada blanked by Great Britain in Olympic rugby sevens debut

3 months ago
19:14
Watch the Canadian men's opening rugby sevens match against Great Britain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 19:14

A frustrating start

In their Great Britain game, prolific scorer Dan Norton led the Rio runners-up with a pair of tries as the sport made its return to the Olympics following a successful debut in 2016. Great Britain's Ross McCann and Robbie Fergusson each scored a try, while Dan Bibby kicked two converts.

Great Britain went on to thrash Japan 34-0. 

Patience was key early on with tight defence from both squads, but Norton finally broke the deadlock just before halftime. The English juggernaut seized a gap on the inside after reeling in an offload pass, and Bibby converted.

Norton continued where he left off immediately following the break, adding another try after outrunning the Canadians in the open field just seconds into the half.

Great Britain was left with a 12-0 lead after Bibby missed the convert, but McCann quickly added the team's third try with a powerful drive through an attempted tackle from Canada's Harry Jones. Bibby missed the convert once again.

Robbie Fergusson cemented the team's opening win with a try of his own, failing to convert.

Dan Norton of Great Britain, right, evades Canada's Justin Douglas in his team's 24-0 victory at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday. (Ben Stansall/Getty Images)

Earlier on Sunday, Fiji defeated Japan 24-19 in the tournament opener.

The men's tournament consists of 12 teams evenly divided into three pools for a preliminary round robin, with the top eight teams moving on to the knockout stage.

While the Canadian men are making their Olympic debut, the country claimed its first Olympic rugby medal in Rio when the women's team took home bronze in the sport's inaugural Olympic tournament.

WATCH l CBC Sports' The Olympians feature on men's rugby 7s:

The Olympians: Men's Rugby 7s

3 months ago
2:03
Watch CBC Sports' The Olympians feature, on Men's Rugby 7s. 2:03

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