After a frustrating elimination in the quarter-finals of the World Rugby 7s Tour stage organized in London against New Zealand, the Blues were able to recover and are aiming for fifth place.
The Blues made New Zealand doubt. Qualified in extremis for the quarter-finals of the London stage of the World Rugby 7s Circuit, Jérôme Daret’s players experienced a real heartbreak. Facing the team that won five of the first ten stages of the season, the Habs competed. If Akuila Rokolisoa opened the entry scoring, Jefferson Lee was able to reply before Scott Curry allowed the All Blacks to turn in the lead by five points at halftime. Barely entered the game in the second act, William Iraguha found the fault in the New Zealand defense to put the two teams equal. However, in the process, Tim Mikkelson restored the advantage to the All Blacks, with Akuila Rokolisoa passing the conversion. Giving everything on the last action to equalize and snatch an extension, the Blues went to queen through Joris Simon. Thomas Carol showed up for the conversion that would have restarted the match… but the French striker took too long to take his kick, considering that the New Zealanders were slow to step aside to let him do it. The referee took the decision to sanction this loss of time by refusing that the conversion be played, validating the victory of the All Blacks (19-17).
What just happened?!
France run out of time to take the kick and New Zealand head to the semi-finals!#HSBC7s | #London7s pic.twitter.com/0vOZFALFAj
— World Rugby 7s (@WorldRugby7s) May 21, 2023
The Blues on their way to fifth place
After this twist of fate, the Blues had to recover to get fifth place and end the season on a good note. The first stage was a revenge against Australia, which had dominated the Blues this Saturday during the group stage. The first period saw the two teams go blow for blow with Jefferson Lee and then William Iraguha both responding to tries from Nick Malouf in the first period. From the start of the second act, Nathan Lawson restored the advantage to the Wallabies but it was without counting on the grinta of Paulin Riva. Two minutes from the end of regulation time, the tricolor center deceived the vigilance of the Australian defense to bring the France team back to five lengths. After a last long action, Paulin Riva went to snatch the victory (19-22), which allows the Blues to join Ireland for the match for the fifth place of this last stage of the World Circuit season. 7s rugby.