England Women Sevens finished seventh at the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Langford following their 29-24 win over Fiji in the seventh place play-off.
In their cup quarter-final game against New Zealand England produced a battling display losing narrowly 12-17. They then faced Canada in the fifth place semi-final, but went down 12-35 to hosts Canada.
In the pool stages on day one, England lost 14-24 to Fiji, were beaten 0-22 by pool winners New Zealand but finished strongly to secure a last eight place with a 31-17 victory over Brazil.
Against Fiji In their final game of the tournament captain Abbie Brown went over inside the first 90 seconds with Emily Scott adding the extras.
Raijieli Daveua’s reply for Fiji only lasted a minute as Vicky Fleetwood went over for England and she got her second soon after.
Despite the two-score lead going into the second half, it was Fiji who responded when Timaima Rosi Lulutai Ravisa crossed before Daveua’s second gave them the lead for first time, taking the score to 19-17.
However Scott and Lydia Thompson went over to secure the seventh place finish for England despite a late Fijiana score.
With home support behind them, Canada started well and Sarah Kaljuvee crossed for the hosts inside the first minute despite an excellent cover tackle by Emily Scott in the build-up.
Deborah Fleming pounced on a loose ball and showed her pace around the outside for England’s first score of the game, before Hannah Darling’s break gave the Canadians a 14-5 half-time lead.
Some neat Canada offloading put Ghislaine Landry in before Bianca Farella’s two scores put the game beyond doubt as the women in red secured the win, while Fleming got a consolation try at the end for England.
It was Portia Woodman who put the first points on the scoreboard in England’s Cup quarter-final against New Zealand.
Just before the break, Woodman put her foot on the gas again for their second score before a superb Lydia Thompson break set up Abbie Brown for an easy try as it sat 7-12 to the Kiwis at the break.
Sarah McKenna’s brilliant line through the middle of the park set up Alex Matthews to go over to make it 12-12 with three minutes to go.
However, after gathering the ball from the resultant restart, Woodman grabbed her hat-trick as she stepped outside and secured the win with her third score of the game.
“We started and finished the day well and the group is happy with how we played against New Zealand in what was a tight game where we demonstrated how we’d progressed from the first day’s performance,” said England Women Sevens head coach James Bailey.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get a few things right against Canada and they put in a strong performance against us, but credit to the girls to dig in and get a good result against Fiji to finish the day well.
“We only had ten players going into day two so I’m really pleased with the effort, the grit and determination from everyone to keep plugging away in some tough conditions.
“We’ll keep working hard now and our focus is on preparing ourselves for Paris as a key tournament in our build-up to the World Cup in San Francisco.”
England Women Sevens squad:
Abbie Brown ©
Pool A: England 12-24 Fiji
Tries: Heather Fisher, Alex Matthews
Pool A: England 0-22 New Zealand
Pool A: England 31-17 Brazil
Tries: Emily Scott, Deborah Fleming (2), Abbie Brown (2)
Cup quarter-final: England 12-17 New Zealand
Tries: Abbie Brown, Alex Matthews
Fifth place semi-final: England 12-35 Canada
Tries: Deborah Fleming (2)
Seventh place play-off: England 29-24 Fiji
Tries: Abbie Brown, Vicky Fleetwood, Emily Scott, Lydia Thompson
Courtesy of England Rugby