The French did not achieve the feat in the final of the Olympic rugby sevens tournament, beaten by New Zealand (26-12), but they are silver medalists.
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The step was too high. Facing the New Zealand women, double reigning world champions and silver medalists in Rio in 2016, the French women’s rugby sevens team did not repeat the feat of the semi-final against Great Britain .
Beaten (26-12), the Blue fell arms in hand in the final. Vice-world champions in 2018, the French women are now Olympic vice-champions. A historic silver medal for French rugby, since it is the first Olympic charm in rugby sevens for the tricolor oval.
Led from the start after a flash test from Blyde, the French have never really had control of the match. Nor on the ball, moreover, often held by the New Zealanders. Not helped by an uncompromising British refereeing, the Blue only chased after the leather and the score, only coming back to two points at the start of the match (7-5 after 3 minutes).
But after two decisive accelerations at the end of the first act, New Zealand turned at the break with a comfortable lead (19-5). Thanks to a quick try, the French believed to be back in the game at the start of the second period, at 7 lengths. Problem: they didn’t really have any other opportunities, cornered in their camp after a series of relentless penalties.
Already beaten by the New Zealanders in the 2018 World Cup final, the French women’s rugby sevens team once again falls against the best team in the world. But this time, there is a historic silver medal at stake: the first in the history of French 7-a-side rugby at the Olympic Games.