Berliner Tageblatt - New Zealand sink Dupont, France at Vancouver Sevens

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New Zealand sink Dupont, France at Vancouver Sevens
New Zealand sink Dupont, France at Vancouver Sevens / Photo: © AFP

New Zealand sink Dupont, France at Vancouver Sevens

Antoine Dupont's first tournament with France's seven-a-side squad ended in disappointment at the Canada Sevens on Sunday with Les Bleus losing 28-26 to New Zealand in the semi-finals.

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Dupont, whose last-gasp try fired France into the last four on Saturday in a quarter-final win over Ireland, came on as a second-half replacement against the skilful Kiwi lineup at Vancouver's BC Place.

But the 15-a-side superstar, who opted to skip the Six Nations in order to focus on sevens with an eye on this year's Paris Olympics, was unable to produce a repeat of Saturday's heroics.

New Zealand, champions of the tournament in 2016 and 2020, took control of the semi-final after early tries from Cody Vai and a superb individual effort from Akuila Rokolisoa to lead 14-5 at half-time.

Jordan Sepho hit back early in the second half to cut the lead to 14-12, but Rokolisoa and Scott Curry scored in quick succession to stretch New Zealand's lead to 28-12.

France scored late tries from Rayan Rebbadj and Joseph Jefferson Lee to give the scoreline a more respectable look but it was too little too late.

New Zealand will face holders Argentina in the final later Sunday.

The Pumas, aiming for a third straight victory in the tournament -- the fourth stop on World Rugby's eight-tournament SVNS Series circuit -- cruised into the final with a 35-19 drubbing of the United States in their semi-final.