The French men’s team concluded its World Cup with a bitter taste: the French septists lost narrowly against Argentina (10-7) on Sunday evening for the classification match for 5th place, and finished 6th in the competition. They therefore do not equal their best result in a World Cup, which is 5th place (1997, 2005 and 2013).
Outnumbered from the yellow card of Jean-Pascal Barraque (3rd), as against Australia in the quarter-finals, the Blues conceded a first try from Joaquin De La Vega (3rd). Nelson Epée reacted a few moments later (6th), and the two teams fought a stifling battle until the last moments, when the French missed the inevitable (14th). It was ultimately the Argentinians who won the showdown by scoring the winning try by Luciano Gonzalez (10th).
A New Zealand-Fiji final
The Blues had dismissed in pain Canada (19-12) for their entry into the round of 16 on Friday, then had logically been beaten by Australia at the gates of the last four (14-5) Saturday. This morning, the French had a great second period against Samoa: trailing 17-5 at the break, they overthrew the islanders by inflicting three tries (24-17).
Pierre Mignot’s teammates, who had not qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, however, did better than their last ranking on the world circuit (7th). The final will oppose New Zealand (defending champion, as in the women’s category) against Fiji this Sunday evening (8:45 p.m.).