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Great Britain's women set up semi-final showdown against New Zealand

Published 07/08/2016

Captain Emily Scarratt scored two tries as Great Britain defeated Canada to preserve their unbeaten record in the Rio Olympics women's rugby sevens competition
Captain Emily Scarratt scored two tries as Great Britain defeated Canada to preserve their unbeaten record in the Rio Olympics women's rugby sevens competition

Great Britain set up a semi-final showdown against New Zealand in the women's rugby sevens tournament as they remained firmly on course for an Olympic medal at Deodoro Stadium.

Emily Scarratt's team made it four successive wins by knocking out quarter-final opponents Fiji 26-7 thanks to Abbie Brown's try double and touchdowns from Alice Richardson and Joanne Watmore.

Although Britain conceded a first try of the competition - Fiji's Litia Naiqato rounding off an impressive move - they finished far stronger than their opponents.

Unbeaten rivals New Zealand now await on Monday, with competition favourites Australia facing Canada - conquerors of France - in the first semi-final.

"We are building nicely," said try star Brown.

"We keep building each game, and I think that is all you can ask in sevens. We've shown we have got what it takes.

"This (semi-final) is where we want to be. Hopefully, we will put on a good performance.

"We will keep working on ourselves. The Olympics experience is amazing - it is very different to what we are used to and something we will never forget.

"It (a possible medal) is what we've dreamed of during the past two years, and that is what we have come here to do."

Brown struck with her opening score after just 12 seconds, and despite Fiji testing them for a short spell, Britain kept their composure impressively to set up a one-sided second period.

New Zealand will got into Monday's clash as favourites, but they laboured past quarter-final opponents the United States 5-0 - star player Portia Woodman scored their try - and Britain's organisation and steady improvement throughout their four games so far suggests a titanic battle.

Earlier in the day, skipper Scarratt led from the front as her team delivered their best performance of the Games to crush highly-fancied Canada in a pool stage finale.

Scarratt scored two second-half tries that sealed a 22-0 win and ensured Britain topped Pool C ahead of their quarter-final appearance.

Canada, after finishing third in this year's World Series, looked impressive during Saturday's opening flurries, but Scarratt and company put them away in style.

Richardson set the ball rolling with an early score, before Amy Wilson-Hardy touched down with a brilliant solo effort as Britain took charge of the contest.

Scarratt, England's outstanding player during their 2014 World Cup triumph, then scored twice in quick succession, with Richardson adding a conversion.

Hosts Brazil claimed their first Olympic rugby sevens victory by seeing off Japan 26-10, but they missed out on a last-eight place, with Spain flying the minnows' flag as they took on Australia before bowing out 24-0.

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