Beaten by Samoa and Australia, the Blues finished in third place in their group of the last stage of the World Rugby Sevens Circuit season, on the lawn of Twickenham. They still qualify for the quarter-finals and will face New Zealand.
The Blues could have hoped for a better day this Saturday at Twickenham. After taking third place in Toulouse last weekend, Jérôme Daret’s players will see the quarter-finals of the last leg of the World Rugby 7s Circuit season, but it all came down to nothing. From the start of this first day, the Blues were in trouble against Samoa. If Aaron Grandidier gave the French team a good start, Vaa Apelu Maliko, Vaovasa Afa Sua then Motu Opetai tortured the French defense to score three tries in the first period.
Jordan Sepho tried to revive the Blues at the start of the second half but Vaa Apelu Maliko’s double sealed the fate of the match. On the last action, Jefferson Lee saved the honor. After this defeat (21-28), a clear round should be targeted to facilitate qualification for the quarter-finals this Sunday. Against Spain, the Habs responded. Jefferson Lee, Rayan Rebbadj then William Iraguha ideally launched their training before Jaime Manteca unlocked the counter for the Iberians.
🤝 𝗝𝗢𝗕 𝗜𝗦 𝗗𝗢𝗡𝗘 for our Blues of #France7 today with this qualification in the quarter-finals in the pocket.
We are counting on you to come and support them! See you tomorrow friends! 👋#London7s @WorldRugby7s pic.twitter.com/LJ55ksN9Eb
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) May 20, 2023
The Blues fail at the gates of the quarter-finals
In quick succession, Rayan Rebbadj and Thomas Carol gave more scope to the advantage of the Blues, who approached the end of the match with a 28-point lead. The late trials of Manuel Sainz Trapaga and Jaime Mata will remain anecdotal because, with this victory (35-21), Jérôme Daret’s players still had their destiny in their hands when they faced Australia. From the first moments, the intensity was there with Rayan Rebbadj who immediately responded to the try scored after less than a minute by James Turner. Tim Clements then restored the advantage to the Australians but Jordan Sepho brought the Blues closer just before the break.
Unfortunately, the transformation did not go through and the France team was silent throughout the second act. Maurice Longbottom did not miss the opportunity to go flat twice to seal the second victory in three games for Australia (12-26), who qualified for the quarter-finals alongside Samoa. The Blues then had to wait for the last results of the day to find out if they were drafted among the two best third. Fortunately for them, South Africa did not have a better record and they will meet New Zealand in the quarter-finals this Sunday.