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Joyce shines on Olympic stage

Jasmine Joyce cemented her name as one of the rugby sevens greats with a string of devastating performances in Tokyo as the Team GB women’s squad narrowly missed out on a medal.

The opening day of the tournament saw Team GB take on both ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) and New Zealand in Japan and both games were high-octane and full of drama.

Team GB came through their opener against ROC unscathed, but only by the finest of margins. A try at the death from captain Abbie Brown saw Team GB clinch a late 14-12 victory.

Next in the group stage came New Zealand, the toughest test of them all. Team GB began strong and raced into a three-try lead, one of which coming from speedster Joyce. However, a 21-0 lead would not deter the eventual gold medallist as they fought back to claim a dramatic 21-26 win.

Kenya were last up in the group stage and Team GB would need a win to take them through to the knockout stages of the competition, and they delivered just that. A clinical 31-0 victory sealed a place in the quarter-finals as Joyce hared over the chalk twice to take her try-tally to three in as many games.

Their victory over Kenya set up a blockbuster encounter with the USA, which saw a titanic battle ensue at the Tokyo Stadium. Team GB would come out on top with a physical display against the Eagles, Joyce crossing yet again in a 19-12 win.

France would be Team GB’s opponents with a place in the gold medal match on the line and a classy performance from the French saw them come out on top 26-19, despite two blistering scores from Joyce.

Joyce celebrates her stunning score vs USA (Getty Images)

Team GB lined up opposite Fiji with a bronze medal being the prize for the victors and unfortunately it would be the Pacific Islanders that would claim an historic 21-12 victory and leave Team GB heartbroken at the final hurdle.

Joyce and Team GB ultimately left Tokyo empty handed but she – along with her teammates – encapsulated the hearts and minds of not just those on British shore but people the world over.

Her blistering pace and devastating feet saw her finish with seven tries in total for the tournament.


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