England Women Sevens have finished in eighth place in the opening leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Series in Dubai today after losing to Spain 14-21 in the seventh place play off.
Earlier in the day England faced Australia in the cup quarter final but were beaten 12-29. Australia were first to take the lead with Emma Tonegato crossing over but England’s Amy Wilson Hardy was quick to respond with a try. Australia once again found the line with Pelite touching down in the final seconds of the first half leaving it 5-17 at the break.
Australia extended their lead with two minutes left in the second half but again England responded quickly, this time with Lydia Thompson going over with a try of her own making. However it wasn’t enough as Australia broke England’s defensive line and touched down to seal the game with a convincing 12-29 win.
England faced France next in the fifth place play-off. England started strong with a try from Alex Matthews and Thompson again soon followed. However France got a try of their own, before the half was out, making it 12-7. France scored two tries in the second half to come from behind and secure a 12-21 win.
In the final match of the day England met Spain. It was England’s Deborah Fleming who secured an early lead with a solo run down the wing. Spain responded with a converted try of their own to level the score 7-7 at half time.
Spain took the lead for the first time in the game early in the second half and extended that lead to 7-21. Despite England scoring at the death it wasn’t enough, leaving the final score 14-21 to Spain.
James Bailey, England Women Sevens head coach today said “There are lots of positives to take away from this tournament. We started every game well, we were in most games until half time, that shows two things, firstly we have the raw materials to be a great side and secondly, we know we have got a way to go, we have a long-term reconditioning plan for the players who have transitioned back from 15s to getting the team to the level you need to be at, to play in tournaments on the world series.
“Dubai been a really good indicator of where we are at as a team and has given us plenty of learnings and work-ons as we continue build and come together.”
England Women Sevens invitational team, playing as The Royals placed fourth at the end of their day. Beating Wales in the cup quarter final 17-14, they then lost their cup semi-final 26-14 to Randwick Magic and again to the Delta Drone Tuks 17-21 in the bronze final.
James Cooper, RFU Performance pathway officer today said: “The tournament has been a fantastic development opportunity for the players to get a real sense of what a world series could be like if they get the opportunity to play in one. They now understand what it’s like to travel, cope with jet lag, heat and a play against different opponents in a unique tournament environment. This will really stand players in good stead for the future.”
England Women squad, Dubai
Claire Allan (Capt), Alex Matthews, Lydia Thompson, Katie Mason, Emily Scarratt, Deborah Fleming, Heather Fisher, Emily Scott, Chantelle Miell, Megan Jones, Holly Aitchison, Amy Wilson Hardy
Friday 1st December
England 12-29 Australia
Tries: Wilson Hardy, Thompson
England 12-21 France
Tries: Matthews, Thompson
England 14-21 Spain
Tries: Fleming (2)
Cons: Scott (2)
Thursday 30th November results
England 15- 17 Russia
Tries: Thompson (2), Fisher
England 7 -22 Australia
England 26 – 14 Japan
Tries: Amy Wilson Hardy (2), Aitchison, Matthews
Cons: Jones (3)
England Women Sevens invitational team, The Royals
Kate Alder, Vicky Fleetwood, Olivia Jones, Millie Wood, Rachel Laqeretabua, Ella Wyrwas, Cara Brincat, Kelly Smith, Lilian Stoger-Goddard, Amelia Harper, Emma Hardy, Sophie Tandy
Report courtesy of the RFU