French blank Britain to capture LA Sevens rugby title

rugby04 March 2024 04:09| © AFP
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Antoine Zeghdar © Getty Images

France beat Great Britain 21-0 in Sunday's championship match to capture the World Rugby SVNS Series title at Los Angeles, completing a stellar debut for Antoine Dupont.

Antoine Zeghdar's try and a conversion by Stephen Parez-Edo Martin in the seventh minute lifted France ahead 7-0 at halftime.

Martin converted his own try in the ninth minute for a 14-0 French lead and Theo Fornier added a try in the 13th minute and converted to seal France's championship.

The crown marked a triumphant debut in the format for former World Rugby Player of the Year Dupont, France's 15-a-side captain and scrum-half.

Dupont switched to sevens in a bid to compete for Paris Olympic gold later this year. He debuted last weekend when France finished third at Vancouver and helped deliver the squad's first title of the season.

In the earlier semifinals, France held off Ireland 26-24 while Great Britain edged Spain 10-7.

France advanced when Ireland's Billy Dardis missed a conversion kick after Terry Kennedy scored his second try in the 15th minute.

Rayan Rebbadj delivered a try and three conversions for France, which also had tries from Zeghdar, Dupont and Paulin Riva.

The French had seized a 26-12 lead before Zac Ward and Kennedy struck in the final minutes to lift the Irish within reach.

In the other semifinal, Robbie Fergusson's try in the fifth minute gave Great Britain a 5-0 halftime lead and Alex Davis added another in the ninth minute that made the difference.

Tobias Sainz-Trapaga scored a try for the Spaniards in the 12th minute and Juan Ramos added a conversion but it was too little and too late.

In the women's final, Michaela Blyde scored three tries to power second-place New Zealand over series leader Australia 29-14. In the semifinals, the Aussies ousted the United States 26-19 and the Kiwis eliminated Canada 31-12.