Sevens – France Men And New Zealand Women Win HSBC SVNS Los Angeles


Antoine Dupont inspired France to win their first men’s HSBC SVNS title in 19 years with a 21-00 victory in the final over Great Britain in Los Angeles, while New Zealand beat Australia 29-14 with a Michaela Blyde hattrick to claim the women’s title.

Fans in the proposed venue for the Olympic Games LA 2028 rugby sevens competition enjoyed three days of non-stop action as France men and New Zealand women ultimately claimed the HSBC SVNS Los Angeles titles at Dignity Health Sports Park.

France secured the men’s gold medals with three unanswered tries in a 21-0 victory over Great Britain to end a 19-year wait for a title, with their only previous victory coming on home soil in Paris back in 2005 and having lost all six finals they have contested since then.

Antoine Dupont was the headline act as he joined the squad in Vancouver last week, and since his arrival, the French have won bronze and gold to move up to fourth in the SVNS standings.

New Zealand’s women backed up their victory in Vancouver last weekend as Michaela Blyde’s hat-trick powered the Black Ferns Sevens to a 29-14 victory over rivals Australia to take their second gold medal of HSBC SVNS 2024 in as many weeks.

In the men’s third-place match, Ireland comfortably beat Spain by 24-7 after leading 19-0 at the break. Meanwhile, the USA secured the women’s bronze on home turf with victory by 21-7 against Canada, their best finish of HSBC SVNS 2024 so far.

Three of the four men’s semi-finalists had never won an SVNS event previously, demonstrating the increasing competitiveness of international rugby sevens and giving fans around the globe excitement that come July the Olympic rugby sevens medals could be claimed by any team in the line-up.

France just held on to win 26-24 over Ireland in their semi-final after Dupont had shown great pace to race away from three Irish opponents and open the scoring with his third try of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Great Britain won a last-minute penalty to hold on for a 10-7 win against Spain to advance to the final.

Elsewhere, fourth-seed New Zealand lost 12-5 to Samoa in the ninth-place playoff to finish tenth, their worst of the season.

Both sides went into the women’s final unbeaten but brilliance from Blyde, plus scores from Risi Pouri-Lane and Portia Woodman-Wickliffe, proved the difference for New Zealand as they closed the gap with leaders Australia in the SVNS table to just four points.

It capped off a bumper day of women’s action at HSBC SVNS Los Angeles with three knockout games all taking place on one day, Australia edging hosts USA to make the final while New Zealand beat Canada convincingly in their semi-final.

Elsewhere South Africa and Brazil finished sixth and seventh respectively to earn valuable rankings points in the fight to avoid the end-of-season relegation play-offs and showcase the growing strength in depth in women’s sevens as both teams overcame Olympic bronze medallists Fiji and Brazil finished on a high with a win over Perth champions Ireland.

Australia Women maintains their position at the top of the HSBC SVNS 2024 standings with 90 points but sees its lead cut to four points over New Zealand with 86 points, with France in third with 74 points. Brazil, South Africa, Japan and Spain currently occupy the bottom four places however Brazil are only one point behind Great Britain following their recent strong form.

Argentina still has a healthy 20-point lead in the men’s standings despite failing to reach the medal podium for the first time this season in Vancouver. Argentina has 90 points ahead of Ireland at 70 points and Fiji is in third place with 64 points. France’s victory in LA moves them up to fourth on 56 points. The bottom four places in the men’s standings are held by Great Britain, Spain, Samoa and Canada, although Great Britain is only a point away from the USA following their cup final appearance in LA.