Gary Street’s squad, which included seven players who competed in this year’s RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam winning campaign, were defeated 19-5 in the final by the host nation. A year ago England were also defeated 10-7 in the final against Wales.
The 19-5 defeat was, however, a rather unflattering score-line for the England outfit who had a try denied and were left with just six players for much of the second-half after an injury. During that period France grabbed a breakaway try to seal the win. England’s five points came courtesy of Wasps and Army player Jane Leonard.
England booked their place in the final with an impressive run in the pool stages. A brace of tries for Thirsk’s Katy McLean helped England take a 45-0 win over Russia before beating Sweden 19-0. England then inflicted a 45-0 defeat on Holland with skipper Rachel Burford claiming four tries. In the final pool game England suffered their first defeat to France losing narrowly 19-12.
They had, however, done enough to book their spot in the semi-finals and tries from Thirsk’s Georgina Roberts and Amber Penrith secured England’s finals’ spot with a 12-10 victory over Spain.
In the tournament showdown England were left playing catch-up to France early on after the host nation touched down for a converted try. A try in the first-half for Leonard though set up a fierce battle in the hot conditions going into the second-half.
England then suffered a major set-back with the loss of Kim Oliver with an injury leaving the team with just six players for the remainder of the match. France took advantage and touched down for a breakaway try. Worcester’s Katherine Merchant looked like she had done enough to keep the deficit to just two points, but her try was then disallowed. To make matters worse for England, in the last play of the game, France then pounced on the ball to score a 90 metre breakaway try and take the FIRA Sevens crown.
England coach Gary Street said: “We are disappointed not to have won in the final, but we always knew France were going to be the team to beat. This was nevertheless a very brave performance from the girls over the two days considering we have not played in a competitive tournament for a year.
“Rachel Burford led the squad superbly and we have all learned a lot this weekend which will can only help us in the future.”
Claire Allan Saracens
Charlotte Barras Saracens
Rachael Burford (Captain) Saracens
Jane Leonard Wasps & Army
Katy McLean Thirsk
Katherine Merchant Worcester
Kim Oliver Clifton
Amber Penrith Cardiff Quins
Georgina Roberts Thirsk
Danielle Waterman Clifton
England 7s results:
Russia - Won 45-0
Tries: Leonard, Penrith, Roberts, Barras, Burford, McLean (2)
Conversions: Burford, McLean (4)
Sweden – Won 19-0
Tries: Burford, Penrith (2),
Conversions: Oliver, McLean
Holland – Won 45-0
Tries: Leonard, Burford (4), Merchant, Allan
Conversions: Burford (2), McLean (3)
France – Lost 19-12
Tries: McLean, Waterman
Spain – Won 12-10
Tries: Roberts, Penrith,
France – Lost 19-5
Julia Hutton I RFU South West Press Officer & RFUW Media Manager I Rugby Football Union I Rugby House I Rugby Road I Twickenham I TW1 1DS I Tel & Fax: 01985 846392 I Mob
photos Janos Schmidt