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Great Britain complete astonishing comeback from 21-0 down to beat the United States in the Rugby Sevens to advance to the semi-finals where they will play New Zealand

Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-07-27

Great Britain made it hard for themselves but showed brilliant character to come from behind to advance to the semi-finals of the Rugby Sevens at the Tokyo Olympics.

The British team entered the match as favourites against the United States but were stunned after they found themselves 21-0 down.

But a fantastic comeback saw them win the game 26-21 to move to the last-four where they will play New Zealand.

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Great Britain showed tremendous character to fight back and reach the semi-finals
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United States exploded out of the blocks to take a shocking 21-0 lead over the British team

Great Britain struggled during a sluggish first-half which was all one-way traffic in favour of the Americans.

Tries from Danny Barrett, Perry Baker and Madison Hughes in the space of four minutes gave USA a comfortable 21-0 lead.

Lindsay Hague scored an important try for Great Britain just before half-time which changed the flow of the game.

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Alex Davis scored one of three second-half tries for the Brits to secure them the victory

Great Britain came out of the second-half rejuvenated by Hague's try and they soon got another boost when Stephen Tomasin received a yellow-card giving the Brits a man-advantage.

It was a moment they took full advantage of as Ben Harris, Alex Davis and Dan Norton scored tries as Great Britain secured a 26-21 victory over the United States.

The result means they will now go on to face New Zealand in the semi-finals tomorrow and are just one game away from a gold-medal match.

It means that the Rio Games silver medallists remain firmly on course for another tilt at gold.

It comes when their prospects looked bleak last year due to coronavirus-enforced cuts made to the sevens programme in Britain.

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The Great Britain team celebrates after their second-half comeback secured victory

Fortunately, funding was obtained via a commercial partnership struck between the Rugby Football Union, Scottish Rugby Union, Welsh Rugby Union and The National Lottery promotional fund.

Reflecting on the comeback win, Britain's Robbie Fergusson said: 'We spoke a lot as a group about what this means to us, what boys are doing after this, what everyone is about.

'So we know there is the collective will and desire to do well here. When our backs are against the wall, we seem to be at our best.'

Dan Bibby added: 'We knew that if we kept in it, kept working it, those last couple of minutes would be the most important. I think we showed that.

'We ground it out, stuck at it and the experience of the squad really showed those last few minutes.

'We were 21-0 down and the gold medal was flashing before your eyes in those moments. But it was in those moments where we looked round at each other, and all gave that confident nod.'

Argentina have also made it to the semi-finals of the Sevens after a dramatic victory over South Africa.

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Argentina players celebrate after their dramatic quarter-final victory over South Africa

The South American side had the odds stacked against them with South Africa favourites going into the match and with Gaston Revol sent off early on meaning they played most of the match with just six-men.

Argentina though showed great spirit to take a 19-7 lead heading into the final minute of the game.

With just over 30 seconds left, Argentina gave away a penalty try reducing the score to 19-14 and now down to just five-men.

In the final seconds Argentina gathered the ball at the restart and kicked it out of play to secure a shock victory.

Revol who was sin-binned at the start of the game, was in tears after the final whistle after his teammates made up for his mistake.

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