Winning start for Antoine Dupont in Sevens as France record double victories

Ireland men winless on the opening day of the Vancouver tournament but the women’s side record a victory over South Africa

France’s Antoine Dupont made a winning start to his Rugby Sevens journey at the Vancouver SVNS event as he helped his side secure victories over the United States and Samoa to reach Saturday’s quarter-finals.

Dupont chose to skip this year’s Six Nations for the sevens format in a bid to win Olympic gold in Paris later this year. He came off the bench in both matches on Friday as France defeated the US 24-12 and then thrashed Samoa 40-7.

France secured top spot in Pool B with six points, three ahead of the US and Samoa.

"Antoine is a very good player and it's very important for us to help him on the field and I think for the first day it's been a good day for us and for him, winning our first two games," France captain Paulin Riva said on Friday.

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"He's the best player in the world so for me it's an honour to have him in the group."

The French have one more pool match to come against Australia on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile the Irish men’s team lost both of their opening encounters in Vancouver, falling 14-7 to Great Britain and then 19-14 to New Zealand.

The defeat to GB came despite Jordon Conroy notching a first minute try, while Ireland threatened a comeback against New Zealand after trailing 14-0 at half-time. Niall Comerford and Hugo Lennox crossed in the second half but the bid to overturn the deficit came up short.

Their final group game is tonight against South Africa at 9.05pm.

Meanwhile the Irish women recorded one victory and one defeat as their quest to reach the cup quarter-finals remains alive. In a 28-7 victory over South Africa, Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe crossed twice as Stacey Flood and Beibhinn Parsons also crossed.

However, Ireland could not keep up their winning form in their next outing against Brazil, the South American team winning by a margin of 24-7, Lucy Rock scoring Ireland’s only try.

The group stage finishes with a clash against New Zealand at 7.21pm on Saturday (Irish time).