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Madrid SVNS, Day One - Men

LIVE UPDATES: Join us as we bring you LIVE updates on Day One of the HSBC SVNS winner-takes-all Grand Final – involving the top eight placed men’s teams after the regular season.

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Meanwhile, the promotion and relegation play-off competition will see eight teams playing for their SVNS status as the quarterfinal matches on Sunday are set to decide which four teams will secure their places in the 2024-25 season.

The Grand Final pools see men’s 2024 league winners Argentina in Pool A with Australia, France and Great Britain.

League runners-up Ireland are in Pool B alongside 2023 series winners New Zealand, double Olympic Champions Fiji and South Africa.

Get all your Day One updates below

Championship Pool A

Australia 5 – 38 France

An exciting fixture with plenty expectations for both sides. France had the better start and the points to show for it. They were heavily contested, however, in the first half. A couple of times the Wallabies just missed out on the final pass that would’ve seen them over. France didn’t have as much trouble making their opportunities count, going into the break 19 up. In the second half, Australia had much less opportunity to score and felt the French side follow up their efforts in the first half, making it a dominant win for the French. Wallabies managed a late try, but the attempts of the first half were not carried over to the second.

Argentina 31 – 5 Great Britain

A competitive match between Argentina and Great Britain. The Argentine side looked to play a speedy game while Britain built their attack with patience. The South Americans got the first blow striking twice in the opening minutes with Pellandini. Britain held steadfast to their tactics and found a way over in the final minute. turning it into a contest. The contest ended after Argentina scored their third try, which snowballed the fixture into a bit of a romp, with Britain struggling to hold on in the second seven. The Argentine controlled the second half and smothered the British. Convincing performance from the South Americans.

Championship Pool B

New Zealand 26 – 28 Fiji

A blistering start for New Zealand, securing two tries in the opening minutes to wind Fiji early in the first half. The Fijians didn’t role over and bided their time, making it over the line just before the break with Nacuqu, but NZ used the extra seconds in the first half to spring a surprise rush attack on the Islanders and it worked well, restoring their two-try lead before the break. Fiji didn’t let the half time score distract them from their game plan. They started the second half the way NZ started the first, rocking the Kiwis in their boots. New Zealand managed to respond and regain the lead but a final break and run by Loganimasi, after being unleashed by his team got Fiji the equalizing score and Teba the winning conversion kick. Fantastic performance and concentration by Fiji.

Ireland 26 – 21 South Africa

A highly contested match between these two sides, taking it right down to the wire. South Africa started off the scoring with nifty combination of passes that allowed them inside the Irish backdoor and over the line for the first try. The Irish response took some time but they peeled away the Blitzbok defence  and skipped over with Kennedy. The game seemed set to go all square into the break but Leyds had something to say about that. Nortje fired first in the second half after receiving a sneaky inside pass that saw him sprint down the middle to score under the sticks. The second seven retained the same intensity,  going back-and-forth between the two sides. Ireland refused to say die and kept it going well after the hooter to bag a very late try and pull the game back. Outstanding showing by the Irish.

Qualifier Pool A

Canada 7 – 41 Uruguay

Canada with the worst start possible after Oworu gets sent off following a high tackle to the head with no mitigation. Uruguay wasted no time and took advantage of the additional man, making it over the line. Canada had no intentions of rolling over and responded swiftly with a try of their own, courtesy of Isherwood. Uruguay managed to make it over the line before the whistle, giving them an advantage at the break. The South American side proceeded to decimate the Canadian team in the second half, capitalizing on the man advantage. Taking nothing away from the South Americans for having the skill to make the most of the situation.

United States 40 – 19 Germany

Germany, the underdogs in this fixture, came out swinging by capitalizing on two USA errors, securing themselves two tries – a bargain transaction for the Germans. USA pulled up their socks and retaliated with two tries of their own by Fuala’Au and Baker. With seconds on the clock, Baker cooked up a fine try showcasing his individual brilliance after swinging around the wing to run it in for a comfortable USA lead at the break. Germany fought valiantly in the second half, but USA hit their stride and ran away with it, going over the line a further three times.

Canada 14 – 19 Germany

Canada and Germany locked horns in this encounter and held each other to account with some solid defending. Neither side was able to overthrow the opposition defence in regular play time, but Germany found a second breath after the hooter sounded and made it over with Hufnagel to keep them the lead. Canada wasted no time getting things back on level terms in the second half, scoring in the opening minute with Coats. Both Canada and Germany managed to outdo the opposition defence, maintaining the even state of affairs. The Europeans once more went above and beyond after the hooter to get another extra time try. Outstanding spirit by them to take the win after a close contest.

United States 29 – 14 Uruguay

Uruguay unsheathed their sword in the opening seconds to draw first blood, catching USA off guard. The restart kick leveled things out positionally and USA used this to draw the South Americans into the middle of the pitch before breaking through on the wing with Lacamp. He jogged his way over the line after being given a world of space following a successful play and break of the opposition defence. Moments later he was at it again, exploiting the same wing. The game was all squared at the break, but USA unraveled the Uruguayan defence in the second seven, playing some expansive rugby and exploiting the gaps left by the South Americans.

Qualifier Pool B

Samoa 12 – 19 Kenya

Kenya showed their intention with a powerful start, bagging two tries in the first few minutes with some adventurous attacking plays and tactics. Samoa reset their position and leveled the score in the first half by securing two tries of their own. Both teams missed a conversion that left them tied at the break. Kenya’s team talk at the break helped the settle themselves and they picked up what they started in the first half, with Okong’O running it over after plowing through his man. They maintained this lead despite getting a yellow card. Good effort by Samoa to make it close but Kenya wanted it more on the day.

Spain 29 – 12 Chile

Spain gave the home crowd a showing by scoring in the opening minute, but were forced into the back seat a minute later after they somehow managed two yellow cards in quick succession. Chile struggled to capitalize on the player advantage but eventually made way in the closing minutes of the first half. Spain made little disciplinary mistakes in the second half and cruised through the second seven with four tries to Chile’s one. The hosts controlled the game throughout and never really looked like losing, despite the precarious position they put themselves in early on.

Samoa 19 – 21 Chile

A relatively even first half between these two sides, with Chile showcasing the range of their skills. The South Americans took the first punch and square on the jaw of the Samoans, scoring in the first minute of play. Play shifted between the sides as both teams displayed their aggressive attacking tactics. Chile had the edge in the second half pulling ahead but eventually caught up by the islanders after Tuitama got them their second try. They kept their heads up and continued pushing, coming out on the other side with a try. The conversion was sent wide with no time left to play, and Samoa lost it by their own error.

Spain 10 – 5 Kenya

The crowd enjoyed a fine showing by the Spanish team, commanding the first half with confidence and zeal. They took the lead after three minutes and doubled their score with another unconverted try. Kenya put up a valiant effort but were unable to pierce the Spanish armour. Kenya came into the second half with fervour, pressuring the Spanish team but still they struggled to pass the Spanish defence. After witling them down, Kenya found themselves over the line, but were unable to do so again, falling short at the last. A solid defensive showing by the Spanish to hold the lead under pressure.

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