In the first-ever men’s rugby sevens gold medal match, Fiji made history in what was a dominant performance.
Fiji scored seven tries, with seven different players responsible for them, as they rolled to a 43-7 victory over Great Britain. Not only did Fiji win the first-ever rugby sevens gold medal, but this is also the nation’s first Olympic medal of any kind in any sport. Osea Kolinisau, who served as Fiji’s flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony, scored nine points (one try and two conversion kicks) and Vatemo Ravouvou added seven points (one try, one conversion) for the Olympic champions.
WATCH: Fiji rugby sevens win nation’s first-ever Olympic medal
Great Britain pulled off an upset to get to the gold medal match, as they defeated South Africa in the semifinals by a score of 7-5. But they didn’t have enough to slow down the juggernaut that is Fiji, which led 29-0 at the half and entered the Olympics as the world’s top-ranked rugby sevens team.
South Africa took bronze with a comfortable 54-14 win over Japan. Cecil Afrika scored four tries to lead the way for South Africa, with Rosko Specman adding three tries for the winners.
WATCH: U.S. takes ninth in men’s rugby sevens
The U.S. rugby sevens finished ninth, beating Spain 24-12 in the ninth place match.
The first ever men’s rugby sevens medals will be handed out Thursday, and some of the biggest names in the sport are alive for Rio glory.
Great Britain will contend for the gold medal when it tries to upend world No. 1 sevens side Fiji, leaving South Africa and Japan to contend for bronze.
WATCH LIVE: Medal matches, placing matches
New Zealand will face surprising Argentina for fifth place, while France battles Australia for seventh. Ninth through twelfth were decided earlier, with the United States coming out on top.
After beating Brazil 24-12 on Wednesday, the United States men’s Rugby Sevens team takes on Spain in its final match in Rio. Carlin Isles scored three tries in the win over Brazil, and he’ll be a key player for a U.S. team looking to end its tournament on a positive note. This match is just one of many scheduled for Thursday, culminating in the bronze and gold medal matches Thursday night.
WATCH LIVE: Final day of men’s rugby sevens — 11:30 a.m. Eastern
The semifinals match Fiji and Japan in one game, with Great Britain and South Africa meeting in the other. Fiji and Great Britain both went through group play unblemished, while South Africa suffered a 12-5 defeat at the hands of Australia. South Africa was the most impressive of the four semifinalists in the quarterfinal round, as they beat the Aussies 22-5.
The Springboks may not have produced the 3-0 marks that Fiji and Great Britain boasted at the end of group play, but they may be the favorites to win the first ever gold medal in men’s Rugby Sevens.