England Women Sevens lift Plate title in London

May 16 • General News, International, Sevens Rugby, World Rugby • 1505 Views • Comments Off on England Women Sevens lift Plate title in London

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England’s Natasha Hunt

England Women Sevens were crowned Plate champions in the penultimate round of the Sevens World Series on Saturday but are still left hunting a top four finish and an Olympic qualification spot.

Simon Middleton’s side, who defeated France 19-0 in the final, now head to Amsterdam next week for the final round of the series within touching distance of the required top four finish. They currently sit sixth but the gap between fourth and sixth is only down to a handful of points.

Middleton said: “What a difference a day makes. After losing to Canada like we did in the pool stages to putting 19 points to nill on France, we have made some gains again. It will now go down to the wire in Amsterdam, but we have crucially clawed back two points on France while America are still only a couple of points ahead too.

“Of course, we would have loved to have contested the final and played at Twickenham but the bottom line was that we had to get some points back from France. That game was massive but we showed composure and we have now got a lot out of this weekend.

“In Amsterdam we must stick to our game plan and execute. It is in our hands and I am confident that if we play to our potential we can get the result we need. We are going there on a high with this good final game.”

England were left contesting the Plate final after they suffered a tough 24-12 defeat to New Zealand in the opening game of the day. New Zealand booted the host nation out of the cup competition in the quarter-final stages with a comprehensive victory. 

The reigning world champions, who have so far won four out of the six rounds this season, made some early gains with Portia Woodman bagging her 90th try of the season in spectacular style.

Woodman then added a second before England’s Joanne Watmore showed some great footwork and speed to score on the right wing, making the score 12-5 at the break.

New Zealand ramped up proceedings after the restart with Katrina Whata-Simpkins and then Kelly Brazier adding two more scores. England hit back with Emily Scarratt making a superb break and with Rachael Burford in support, she dotted down, but England’s fate was already sealed.

In the Plate semi-final, England triumphed 10-0 but made hard work of it. Middleton’s side dominated possession but could only take two tries through Kay Wilson and Burford.

That win pitted England against France in the crucial Plate final. With France one of England’s rivals for a top four series finish, series points mattered most, and England closed the door firmly shut on Les Bleus. Watmore ran in a brace of tries while Wilson added England’s third and final score.

England Sevens Squad: 

Natasha Brennan (Richmond)

Rachael Burford (Thurrock)

Abigail Chamberlain (C) (Richmond)

Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)

Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)

Marlie Packer (Wasps)

Emily  Scarratt (Lichfield)

Michaela Staniford (Wasps)

Joanne Watmore (Richmond)

Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol)

Kay Wilson (Thurrock)

Sarah McKenna (Saracens)

England playing schedule:

May 15, Twickenham Stoop

England 28 South Africa 7

Tries: Brennan, Wilson, Staniford, Hunt

Conversions: McKenna (3), Mclean

England 21 Russia 12

Tries: Scarratt, Watmore, Packer

Conversions: Mclean (3)

England 0 Canada 31

May 16, Twickenham Stoop & Twickenham Stadium

Cup Quarter-final: England 12 New Zealand 24 

Tries: Watmore, Burford

Conversions: McKenna

Plate semi-final: England 10 Spain 0

Tries: Wilson, Burford

Plate Final: England 19 France 0

Tries: Watmore (2), Wilson

Conversions: Mclean (2)

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