England Women Sevens finished eighth in the fifth leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series after losing to Ireland in their final game of the tournament.
Despite tries from Holly Aitchison and Katie Mason, England were unable to see off Ireland, having lost three players by the final game through injury. England missed the experience of Jo Richardson-Watmore on day two after she was ruled out through concussion, while Kelly Smith and Alice Richardson-Watmore missed the final game through injury.
England suffered three losses on day two after qualifying for the Cup quarter finals through Pool A. Hosts Canada, who lost out to New Zealand in the tournament final, proved themselves too good in the opening play-off game with Deborah Fleming scoring England’s only try.
Fleming went on to score twice in the fifth place play off against USA, who came away 26-14 winners, having also defeated England in the opening pools 19-21 in a closely fought opening game.
England landed a convincing 26-0 success over invitational side Netherlands with tries from Jo Richardson-Watmore, Aitchison, Smith and Natasha Brennan, before losing to tournament winners New Zealand 43-7.
England Women Sevens coach James Bailey said: “The weekend threw up lots of challenges, including going into the final game with just nine players. It has been a fantastic learning opportunity for this young group squad and the most important thing is now to rest and recuperate ahead of Clermont-Ferrand next month.”
Going into the final leg of the six-tournament series, England retain eighth place in the overall standings, but drop to 10 points behind France and eight points above Ireland.
The top four teams from the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, not including the four pre-qualified teams, will earn their place in the Women’s Sevens World Cup in San Francisco in July 2018. Eight more teams, including two European, will qualify through the regional championship placings.
England Women squad, Langford
Natasha Brennan, Katie Mason, Alice Richardson-Watmore ©, Millie Wood, Lauren Cattell, Deborah Fleming, Heather Fisher, Kelly Smith, Lotte Clapp, Jo Richardson –Watmore, Holly Aitchinson, Chantelle Miell
Seventh place play-off
England 10 – 14 Ireland
Tries: Aitchison, Mason
Fifth place play-off
England 14 – 26 USA
Tries: Fleming (2)
Conversions: A Richardson-Watmore, Cattell
Cup Quarter Final
Canada 33 – 5 England
Pool A Results
New Zealand 43 – 7 England
England 26 – 0 Netherlands
Tries: J Richardson-Watmore, Aitchison, Smith, Brennan
Conversions: A Richardson-Watmore (3), Cattell
England 19 – 21 USA
Tries: Aitchison, A Richardson-Watmore, Fleming
Conversions: A Richardson-Watmore, Aitchison