Alex Matthews made her Olympic bow in Tokyo earlier today as Team GB got their women’s sevens campaign underway.
GB defeated the Russian Olympic Committee 14-12 in their opening pool match, before tasting defeat against red hot favourites New Zealand despite leading 21-0 in the first half.
Matthews was certainly in the mood against the Black Ferns, her ball and all tackle from kick-off setting the tone for a dominating opening period which saw New Zealand making some uncharacteristic handling errors.
Earlier, co-captain Abbie Brown’s last gasp try helped GB get off to a winning start and their display against New Zealand will have done much to instil further belief that Matthews and her teammates could be in the medal shake-up.
Great Britain’s women, who finished fourth in Rio, will now fight for a quarter-final place in their final pool game against Kenya on Friday 3am (UK time). The knockout stages then begin at 9.30am (UK time).
“We’re all exceptionally proud of Alex and she’s had such a tough year having lost her sevens contract last year,” said Warriors Women Director of Rugby Jo Yapp.
“It’s been a tough journey for the men and the women’s sevens players. Sevens rugby is really fast and things can change quickly – you can be three tries up and the other team can come back into it.
“Sevens rugby is a completely different audience, particularly at the Olympics, and it’s an opportunity to grow interest in the game of rugby.
“From my experience at Clee Hill Rugby Club with the mini’s, Alex came down and the children got to meet her which was amazing for them and so inspiring.”