England Women have finished third in the World Rugby HSBC Women’s Sevens Series in Atlanta after beating Canada 26-14 in the bronze final.
The side enjoyed a successful first day finishing top of their pool, beating World Series leaders Australia, Fiji and Colombia going into the the Cup quarter finals on Saturday against Russia.
It was Russia who got on the board first following end-to-end play but Captain Emily Scarratt was able to bring the scores level at 7-7 by half time. Scarratt quickly went on to land her fifth try of the weekend with Katy Mclean adding the additional two points. After an unconverted Russian try brought the points closer, a chip pass from Alice Richardson left Jo Watmore to score taking the score to 19-12 to England at the final whistle.
A win for New Zealand over France pitched England against the Black Ferns in the semi-finals and it was Amy Wilson Hardy who landed the first points after a favourable bounce put England ahead inside two minutes. Intelligent play from New Zealand skipper Sarah Goss levelled the scores before Portia Woodman quickly doubled up and Shiray Tane added another the stroke of half-time with England not quick enough in setting their defence.
Claire Allan brought England within a score but brilliant movement of the ball added a final try for New Zealand, a run from Abbie Brown after an impressive offload from Heather Fisher in the last move of the match left the final score at 19-24. A brave effort from England but New Zealand went into the Cup Final, and England into the bronze medal match.
Australia sailed through the second semi, leaving England to face Canada and Emily Scott was quick off the boards to put England in front with a conversion from Mclean. Canada were able to respond but a second converted try, this time from Kay Wilson scoring her fourth of the tournament, put England ahead at half time.
England quickly put the game to bed in the second half with tries from Wilson Hardy and Scarratt leaving a full time score of 24-16.
Captain Emily Scarratt said: “It’s an awesome finish for us – we had a really good start yesterday and it was important that we backed it up today coming off the back of Sao Paulo where we didn’t play that well and didn’t get the results because of it. It was a fair result and we’re chuffed to have come third.”
Head Coach Simon Middleton added: “It was a great squad effort with a lot of emphasis on that last game with Canada likely to be in our Olympic pool. They are fantastic side who will take advantage if you’re not on form and we played with great energy, composure and skill.”
This leaves England in fourth place in the overall Series standings, rising one place after their disappointing seventh in Sao Paulo and second third place finish in three tournaments. The side travel directly to Langford Canada where the fourth Series leg takes place 16-17 April.
Scarratt added: “We now travel to Canada for the next leg and we will probably look back at our New Zealand semi and think we could have made this final and so that will be right up there with our aspirations. In the meantime we’ll focus on our recovery to be in the best possible shape for next weekend.”
For full results click here.
England Squad Atlanta and Langford
Sarah Mckenna (did not play in Atlanta)
Alice Richardson (VC)
Emily Scarratt (C)
Danielle Waterman (did not play in Atlanta)
Amy Wilson Hardy
England Women Sevens Atlanta
Australia v England 7-21
Fiji v England 7-28
England v Colombia 45-0
Cup Quarter Final
England v Russia 19-12
Cup Semi Final
England v New Zealand 19-24
England v Canada 26-14
Report courtesy of England Rugby