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Fiji men, New Zealand women perfect in Oceania Sevens event

June 27, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2019 file photo, Australia's Samu Kerevi is tackled by Wales' Jonathan Davies during the Rugby World Cup Pool D game at Tokyo Stadium between Australia and Wales in Tokyo, Japan. Kerevi has been named in the Australian 7's squad for the Tokyo Olympics. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko,File)
FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2019 file photo, Australia's Samu Kerevi is tackled by Wales' Jonathan Davies during the Rugby World Cup Pool D game at Tokyo Stadium between Australia and Wales in Tokyo, Japan. Kerevi has been named in the Australian 7's squad for the Tokyo Olympics. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko,File)

TOWNSVILLE, Australia (AP) — Defending men’s Olympic champion Fiji and the New Zealand women’s side were both undefeated in six matches at the Oceania Sevens tournament, the last major tune-up for the leading teams heading into the Tokyo Olympics beginning next month.

Despite playing at home, Olympic champion Australia women lost to both New Zealand and Fiji and finished with a 3-3 record.

The Australian women lost 34-5 and 26-5 to New Zealand in their matches. Australia beat New Zealand 24-17 in the gold medal final at Rio.

Australia women’s head coach John Manenti said he saw some positives in the squad’s performance.

“We worked really hard and made them work hard for their tries... we asked a few questions to them and probably probably should have asked a couple more,” Manenti said.

In other women’s matches Sunday, New Zealand beat Fiji 27-12, Australia defeated the Oceania Barbarians 32-7 and Fiji beat the Barbarians 14-12.

The Fijian men’s side concluded its perfect tournament with a 33-5 win over the Oceania Barbarians on Sunday, followed by a 17-7 win over New Zealand. In other Sunday men’s matches, New Zealand beat Australia 17-5 and Australia defeated the Barbarians 28-12.

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There will be 12 teams each in the rugby sevens competition at the Tokyo Games, with the men’s tournament being played from July 26-28 and the women’s from July 29-31.

All matches will be played at Tokyo Stadium, which hosted eight matches during the 2019 Rugby World Cup, including the bronze medal final.

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