USA knocked out by top-seeded Fiji in rugby

Rugby Olympics 101: Sport hasn't been in Olympic Games since 1924

Top seed Fiji beat the United States 24-19 in the final first round match on Wednesday to save New Zealand the embarrassment of a pool stage exit at the inaugural Olympic tournament and send the Americans home.

SEE MORE: Everything you need to know about the Summer Olympics

New Zealand had earlier suffered a 21-19 loss to Britain which, coming after their stunning 14-12 defeat to Japan on Tuesday, left the All Blacks relying on the Fijians to beat the Americans by more than four points to reach the quarter-finals.

Nate Ebner scored a 40-metre try in the final minute to get within five points of the top seeds but his skipper Madison Hughes was unable to convert for the Americans, champions at the last Olympic rugby tournament in 1924.

New Zealand are unlikely to show any gratitude to the Fijians when they meet in the quarter-finals later on Wednesday. South Africa play Australia, Britain face Argentina and Japan will hope to continue their fairytale run against France in the other last eight matches.

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