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Spain upset Samoa 22-19 to secure the 12th and final spot in the Men’s sevens Rio 2016 Olympics. Monaco hosted the repechage tournament, consisting of twelve teams, including three core teams on the World Rugby HSBC circuit, Canada, Russia, and Samoa, which won the Paris Sevens in May in a thrilling come-from-behind win against Fiji.
But, this past weekend, it was Spain that dominated play after going 2-1 in pool play, losing to Hong Kong but qualifying for the final eight.
Then, victories over Hong Kong (31-12) and Ireland (12-7) lead to the final match against Samoa. Spain went out ahead 12-0 but the Pacific Islanders score two tries and two conversions to lead 14-12 at the break. Samoa scored first in the second half to lead 19-12, but then Spain added two tries, the last, a game-ending try by hero Ignacio Martin.
So, it will be the unheralded Spaniards who will head to Rio in August.
(NB: Rugby Today picked Spain as an upset possibility.)