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Rugby 7s: Antoine Dupont qualifies the Blues for the semi-finals in Vancouver

Star of rugby union who wants to shine at the Paris Olympic Games this summer (July 26 - August 11), Antoine Dupont (27 years old) has the difficult task of integrating into an established and successful squad, he who is making his debut with the VII of France in Vancouver this weekend.

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Rugby 7s: Antoine Dupont qualifies the Blues for the semi-finals in Vancouver

Star of rugby union who wants to shine at the Paris Olympic Games this summer (July 26 - August 11), Antoine Dupont (27 years old) has the difficult task of integrating into an established and successful squad, he who is making his debut with the VII of France in Vancouver this weekend. The Toulouse and emblematic captain of the XV of France, replacement, found an excellent way to please his new teammates by scoring the winning try in added time of a bitter quarter-final against Ireland (12- 5).

Already very good on Friday (two successes), the Blues had developed the most flamboyant game of the tournament before the final phase, with a third group victory on Saturday morning against Australia (31-5). Dupont, starting in this match without any stakes for the French, took the opportunity to score his very first try, superb, thanks to a commotion followed by a feint and an acceleration.

In the quarters, the Irish managed to stop the tricolor mechanics by offering slower and more tactical rugby, using kicking play, going against the grain of passes after contact and the usual overlaps of Sevens rugby. The Blues even thought they were going out of the tournament when they received two yellow cards almost in quick succession (2 minute penalty per player) in the middle of the second half (a match is divided into two seven-minute periods), while the score was 5 all. But a tough defense allowed them to stay in the game and even regain possession, while Dupont entered in the 10th minute.

In added time, on the far left of the field in the Irish 22 m, Dupont put his experience as a scrum half to good use, recovering the ball behind this phase of set play to go to the closed side where the Irish had left a space, flattening in the goal, and therefore qualify France (12-5). “We've been waiting for the half since the start of the season, plus Antoine scores the winning try. We worked hard, we deserve to be able to win this match,” appreciated Aaron Grandidier.

The Blues will return to New Zealand on Sunday (1:07 p.m. local time, 10:07 p.m. Paris time), as they reach the final four for the first time this season on the world circuit (after finishing 8th, 7th and 5th of the first three tournaments). The day was perfect for France, which saw the women's VII, also still undefeated in Canada, easily win its quarter-final 24 to 5 (4 tries) against Brazil. Unlike the men, the French women, Olympic vice-champions in Tokyo in 2021 and third in the world ranking this season, were expected at this stage of the competition.

In the semi-finals, they face the Australian world No. 1 on Sunday (12:23 p.m. local time, 9:23 p.m. Paris time), against whom they lost the final of the tournament in Cape Town (South Africa) earlier this year.

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