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Rugby - 01. December 2008.

England Sporting Chance Women crowned Dubai 7s champions

England Sporting Chance Women were crowned champions of the Dubai Rugby Exiles 7s on Saturday after a thrilling 12-10 victory in the final against the Wooden Spoon team.

The England Sporting Chance side, playing in their first tournament of the season which also sees them compete in the Rugby World Cup 7s in March in Dubai also, swept aside Canada 12-5 in Saturday's semi-final. Tries from Richmond's Alice Richardson and Saracens' Charlotte Barras sealed the win.

In the final, a converted try from Richmond's Alice Richardson handed England a 7-5 lead at half-time, but a second try for Scotland's Lissy Millard put the Wooden Spoon team in the lead with just four minutes left on the clock.

England held their nerve though and showed tremendous mental strength to sustain a barrage of attacks which finally saw Blaydon's Danielle Waterman score in the final play at the game. Richardson didn't convert but England sealed a magnificent 12-0 victory to lift the Dubai crown.

England Head Coach Simon Amor said: "This was an impressive win for us. It was certainly tense, and only a try in the last play of the game secured the win, but that sort of performance shows that these players know how to win games. They have mental toughness and that is exactly what is needed if we are going to contest the Rugby World Cup.

"From here the girls now have a rest period from 7s rugby, but come January it is all go. We will have several training sessions, before then going to San Diego and then Dubai again for the Rugby World Cup 7s."

England Sporting Chance Foundation v Canada (Semi-final)

Score: 12-5
Tries: Richardson, Barras.
Conversions: Richardson
Half-time score: 12-5

England Sporting Chance Foundation v Wooden Spoon (final)

Score: 12-10
Tries: Richardson, Waterman
Conversions: Richardson
Half-time score: 7-5

England Sporting Chance Foundation 7s squad

Sue Day (c) Wasps
Sarah Beale Lichfield
Maggie Alphonsi Saracens
Emma Layland Richmond
Heather Fisher Wasps
Charlotte Barras Saracens
Jo Yapp Worcester
Danielle Waterman Blaydon Team Northumbria
Alice Richardson Richmond
Vicky Massarella Richmond
Claire Allan Saracens
Michaela Staniford Wasps
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