Canadian men’s rugby 7s squad overwhelmed by Great Britain in Olympic debut

The Canadian men’s rugby sevens failed to generate any momentum in its Olympic debut, suffering a 24-0 loss to Great Britain in its opening match on Sunday at Tokyo Stadium.

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.

Canada faces reigning Olympic champion Fiji in the second session at 4 a.m. ET, while Great Britain takes on host nation Japan at 3:30 a.m. ET. Both games will be streamed live on CBC Gem, the CBC Olympics app and CBC Sports’ Tokyo 2020 website.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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:

Watch CBC Sports’ The Olympians feature, on Men’s Rugby 7s. 2:03