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March 4, 2024, 5:43 pm
Rugby, Sports

France wins

Fiji TV Team
| etoga@fijitv.com.fj
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France secured a 21-0 victory over an injury-stricken Great Britain to win their first series gold medal in almost 20 years at HSBC SVNS Los Angeles.

That last win had come in Paris back in 2005, and after a long time between drinks France scored three unanswered tries to etch their name on the LA trophy.

Antoine Dupont was the headline as he joined the squad in Vancouver last week, and since his arrival the French have won bronze and gold to move up to fourth in the series table.

In the third place final, Ireland comfortably beat Spain by 24-7 after leading 19-0 at the break.

Elsewhere, fourth seed New Zealand lost 12-5 to Samoa in the ninth-place playoff to finish tenth, their worst of the season.

France overcome determined Great Britain  

Great Britain were measured in attack in the opening moments but were unable to overcome the French scramble defence as they turned the ball over in their own 22.

France advanced up the field in attack but were too eager to open the scoring as a speculative offload went to ground and handed possession back to GB. However, Les Blues would soon cross for the opening score after GB’s Tom Emery pulled up injured with the ball in hand, France stealing possession back to score through Antoine Zeghdar.

GB injuries had reduced their bench to one-strong and had a seven-point deficit to overcome in the second half, but there was no mercy from France as they showed their handling skills to work past the GB defence and score their second to take a 14-0 lead.

Desperation in defence saw Morgan Williams obstruct France’s attempt to go quick from a penalty to see yellow.

GB held France up over the line but couldn’t avoid conceding in the powerplay as Theo Forner was sent under the sticks to lead extend the lead to 21.A silver medal for GB is still by far their best finish of the season, bettering their seventh place in Vancouver last weekend and seeing them move to within a point of the USA in ninth and safety in the series table.

Route to the final: France edge Ireland and Great Britain defeat Spain

France just held on to win 26-24 over Ireland in their semi-final after a late missed conversion from Ireland’s Billy Dardis.

Jordan Conroy opened the scoring for Ireland in the semi-final when he crossed in the first minute, but it was France who led 12-7 at the break thanks to tries from Antoine Dupont and Rayan Rebbadj, the latter scoring on the stroke of half time.

France added another seven pointer straight after the break as Paulin Riva broke free to score under the posts, but Ireland were quick to respond through Terry Kennedy as he scored his 100th SVNS series try to draw his side within a score.

However, a try full of French flair would ultimately seal the game – starting from behind their own goal line, Stephen Parez Edo Martin eventually put the ball on his boot to be gathered by Antoine Zeghdar for France’s fourth and a spot in the final.

Meanwhile, Great Britain won a last-minute penalty to hold on for a 10-7 win against Spain to advance to the final.

Spain enjoyed a long period of possession in the opening minutes, but strong defence saw Great Britain repel the energetic Spaniards behind the gain line. GB looked far more dangerous in attack when they got the ball and sure enough opened the scoring through Robbie Fergusson for the only points of the half.Great Britain extended their lead through Alex Davis but one missed tackle was enough for Spain to go under the post through Tobias Sainz-Trapaga and make it a three point game.

Spain won a turnover to earn one final attack in the dying moments, but a jackal penalty in favour of Great Britain allowed them to secure victory.

Ireland defeat Spain to take bronze

Zac Ward’s first half brace and Ed Kelly’s third took Ireland to a 19-0 lead at half time against Spain, Chay Mullins’ late score capping off a strong weekend and securing their second place spot in the series table.

Spain had reached the first ever cup semi-final against Great Britain earlier in the day, this fourth place finish their best of the season so far, previously their eighth place finish in Perth.