Sonny Bill Williams out of Olympics as All Blacks falter

THE All Blacks sevens team have been shocked by Japan in the opening fixture of the Rio Olympics, going down 14-12 and losing Sonny Bill Williams to a leg injury.

Just like last year's astonishing Rugby World Cup upset over South Africa, David upset Goliath in an opening pool match which had the Deodoro Stadium crowd in raptures.

"It was unbelievable," said Japan back Lomano Lemeki. "You never think you would see a minnow team come here and beat a gold medal contender.

"I'm still shocked to be honest."

The major drama did not end there. An hour after the shock defeat it was confirmed that the All Blacks star suffered a partial rupture of his Achilles ending his Olympics campaign.

Williams limped off with the injury after he took a crash ball into two defenders early in the second half and had to be assisted off the field.

When Williams was helped off it helped "boost" the Japanese players.

"He's like a main weapon in the New Zealand team so that was our game plan, just try to stop him, especially in offloading." Lemeki added that it was not all about Williams.

"Sonny Bill's a good player, no doubt. But we look at every player as a good player on the New Zealand team," he said.

Williams tweeted a message of support for the sevens team along with an image of him holding crutches.

Joe Webber also won't play again after being medi-cabbed off late in the game with a shoulder injury.

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Captain Scott Curry said they were guilty of making too may mistakes.

"Without the ball it's pretty hard to score and when we got it we knocked it on or turned it over at the ruck."

The All Black Sevens let themselves down with poor handling while the underdog Japanese skilfully controlled the majority of the game by slowing it down to their pace and not allowing the second seeds get into rhythm.

Playing well above themselves, the underdogs scored the opening try but the Kiwi side led 12-7 with two minutes to go before Kameli Soejima crossed out wide and Ktsuyuki Sakai nailed a clutch conversion.

New Zealand almost stole the match at the death with a 90m raid after the siren but heroic defence ultimately ensured another fairytale result.

"That was crazy," Lemeki said. "Everyone was flying just like a kamikaze plane trying to chop their legs off - as long as we didn't let them score a try, if we got knocked out that's fine."

Lemeki felt their dejected opponents took his side lightly, while the result meant the world No.15-ranked side were now serious medal contenders.

"They are going to think they're Superman," he said of his teammates.

It was one of three upsets on captivating day one of the men's sevens with Australia falling 31-14 to France and Argentina also surprising USA 17-14.

"It means any team can win on any day in sevens," Lemeki said. "It's wide open."

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