England Women Sevens take seventh place in Atlanta

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England’s Amy Wilson-Hardy

England Women Sevens suffered a disappointing second day of action at the Atlanta leg of the World Series on Sunday, finishing seventh which now leaves them sitting sixth in the overall series standings.

England, who need to finish in the top four by the end of the season to automatically qualify Team GB for the 2016 Olympics, had booked themselves a place in the Cup quarter-finals on Saturday. That was after a better opening day of play, taking wins over Canada, Brazil and China. However, a below par performance against Russia in the final eight saw them swiftly knocked out of the tournament, and back in the Plate competition.

England, who have won the Plate title in Dubai and Brazil so far this season, suffered a crushing 24-0 defeat to Russia. That loss pitted England against one of the series favourites, Australia, who had endured a quarter-final shock exit to the hosts USA in the Plate semi-finals.

Simon Middleton’s side were no match for the Wallabies this time around though, and Australia cruised to a 17-0 lead at half-time. Sarah McKenna and Amy Wilson-Hardy clawed back tries for England after the break but their rivals took a 24-12 win in the end.

England were then left fighting it out for seventh place against Brazil in their final game. After a 24-0 victory over the South Americans on day one, England continued that winning streak with a 31-10 win with Natasha Brennan and Jo Watmore running in a brace of tries each and Richardson also adding one touchdown.

Middleton said: “We are really disappointed with our performance. We did not front up against Russia, giving away possession and penalties early doors and that set the tone for the rest of that game.

“Playing Australia in the Plate semi-finals was always going to be a massive ask and frustratingly we set off in the same vein against Australia as we did against Russia. Our second half performance was much better but we had too much work to do at that point.

“The side that finished against Australia deservedly started against Brazil and in another tough fixture we showed some of the glimpses from day one to finish with a much needed win. We know we have got to improve our game day two performances and that is going to be a big focus again going forward.”


Rachael         Burford (VC) (Thurrock)

Abi      Chamberlain (C)      (Richmond)

Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol)

Natasha         Hunt   (Lichfield)

Sarah McKenna       (Saracens)

Marlie Packer            (Wasps)

Alice   Richardson   (Richmond)

Emily  Scarratt          (Lichfield)

Michaela        Staniford        (Wasps)

Danielle         Waterman      (Bristol)

Joanne          Watmore        (Richmond)

Natasha Brennan (Richmond)

Playing Schedule, Atlanta

Day 1 (March 14)

England 33 China 7

Tries: Brennan (2), Hunt (2), Watmore

Conversions: McKenna (3), Richardson

England 24 Brazil 0

Tries: Richardson, Waterman, Watmore (2)

Conversions: Richardson

England 26 Canada 10

Tries: Richardson, Waterman, Watmore (2)

Conversions: Richardson (3)

Day 2 (March 15)

Cup Quarter-finals: England 0 Russia 24 

Plate Semi-finals: England 12 Australia 24

Tries: McKenna, Wilson-Hardy

Conversions: McKenna

7th/8th play-off: England 31 Brazil 10

Tries Brennan (2), Watmore (2), Richardson

Conversions: McKenna, Richardson (2)


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