England Women had to settle for fourth place at the Rugby Europe Grand Prix in Brive, France, today (Sunday) which also handed them a fourth place finish overall in the series.
A young England side, who finished third in the first of the two-leg series last weekend in Kazan, couldn’t overcome Russia in the third/fourth place play-off match losing 32-7. Claire Allan claimed England’s only try in that game with Bristol’s Megan Jones adding the conversion.
England were left contesting the play-off match after a 10-5 defeat to Spain in the semi-finals. Spain, chasing a place at next year’s Olympic Games, edged the narrow win with Lydia Thompson this time England’s only scorer.
After an unbeaten record on day one, which saw England take wins over Germany, Scotland and Ireland, England then inflicted a 35-0 defeat on Wales in the quarter-finals. Heather Fisher, Vicky Fleetwood, Abbie Brown, Alice Richardson (2) all crossed for tries but that was where their winning record ended.
England Assistant Coach Susie Appleby said: “This has been a really good and progressive series for this young team. We were frustrated to lose to Spain in a game we probably should have won but the bigger picture is that all the new players in this squad have done brilliantly well. They have improved massively in just this two week period and we have also had the time to look at all the players in great detail which is hugely beneficial. To finish fourth in a tournament where the likes of France, Spain, Ireland and Russia are playing full strength, experienced sides is very pleasing. On the back of this, we are confident that we are going into next season’s Olympic year in good form.”
Claire Allan (Richmond)
Abbie Brown (Bristol)
Rachael Burford (VC)(Thurrock)
Abigail Chamberlain (C) (Richmond)
Heather Fisher (Thurrock)
Victoria Fleetwood (Saracens)
Megan Jones (Bristol)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Fiona Pocock (Richmond)
Leanne Riley (Saracens)
Alice Richardson (Richmond)
Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
England Playing Schedule
20 June 2015
England 47-7 Germany
Tries: Fleetwood (2), Pocock, Allan, Richardson, Brown, Thompson
Conversions: Jones (2), Richardson (4)
England 32-7 Scotland
Tries: Thompson (2), Burford, Pocock, Fisher, Brown
England 12- 10 Ireland
Tries: Brown, Richardson
21 June 2015
Cup Quarter-Finals, England 35-0 Wales
Tries: Fisher, Fleetwood, Brown, Richardson (2)
Conversions: Richardson (4), Brown
Cup Semi-Finals, England 5-10 Spain
Third/fourth place, England 7-32 Russia