Series leaders Fiji beat Scotland
France got off to a winning start on home soil as they beat Canada on the opening day of the HSBC Paris Sevens, round nine of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Two tries from the returning captain Terry Bouhraoua and an inspired Virimi Vakatawa performance helped them to a 42-5 win over Liam Middleton’s side to the delight of the home crowd at Stade Jean Bouin.
The series reigning champions Fiji also got off to a winning start in Paris, beating Scotland 38-12, as they chase a second successive series title and top seeding heading into the Olympic Games.
Ben Ryan named several French based players in his squad for Paris and both Josua Tuisova and Samisoni Viriviri scored twice in the victory, the former scoring his first two career tries and the latter returning to score his 99th and 100th.
“I was nervous on the bench beforehand, Scotland are a great side, but I am happy we got this out the way and can concentrated on tomorrow now,” said Ryan.
“We have a great side, a few players in the wider squad and some up our sleeve too, but our new boys made an instant impact which was great. The benefit with these guys is they have played sevens before so that helps and it’s just honing some of their skills and fitness over the next couple of months now.”
Second-placed South Africa kept the pressure on Fiji with a 24-5 win over England, Seabelo Senatla scoring four tries in the match taking his season tally to 58, leaving him one short of 150 career tries, in the penultimate match of the day before Australia beat Brazil 38-0.
Elsewhere Singapore champions Kenya came from 14-0 behind to beat Portugal 29-14, with Collins Injera scoring his 226th and 227th career tries leaving him just three short of Santiago Gomez Cora’s all-time record.
Lewis Ormond scored twice for New Zealand, who also came from behind to beat Portugal 35-10, Samoa Toloa scored a hat-trick in Samoa’s 52-10 win over Wales and Matias Moroni was one of five try scorers as Argentina beat the USA 36-0 – their best performance against the Americans since 2002 in Santiago.
Returning to Paris for the first time since 2006, the first eight matches set a high standard for the remaining two days of action at Stade Jean Bouin.
Philippe Bourdarias, General Manager Competitions at World Rugby, said: “We are delighted for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series to come back to France.
“We are very excited about it after some high level sevens action on day one and we are confident it will be a success. This is the penultimate event of what has been an incedibe series and we can feel the excitement growing for the climax in London, and of course the Olympics.”