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Rugby - 08. March 2009.

England Women victorious in Rugby World Cup Sevens Plate Final

England Women were crowned champions of the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens Plate in Dubai on Saturday night.

England marched to victory with a decisive 12-0 victory over Canada, handing them an impressive tally of 1056 points scored over seven tournaments over the last year. They have also conceded just 109 points.

England progressed to the plate final after a 12-7 victory over Spain in the semi-finals, and after being knocked out of the cup competition following a tense 17-10 quarter-final defeat to Australia.

The Red Roses powered to victory against Canada with two great tries by Blaydon's Danielle Waterman and Worcester's Katherine Merchant in the first-half.

Waterman took her chance after a superb break which saw her out-run Canada's defence and show a tremendous turn of speed.

Minutes later, and some good work from England after a scrum saw Rachael Burford and Alice Richardson get the ball out-wide to Merchant deep in Canada's 22. Merchant then sped her way up the length of the field for a fantastic try. Burford added the conversion to seal the win.

England Head Coach Simon Amor said: "We are very disappointed that we were not fighting for the top honours. We genuinely felt that we should be, but the players did tremendously well to come back mentally to win the plate final. I am immensely proud of them, and the amazing commitment they have shown throughout this sevens journey."

England skipper Sue Day added: "Unfortunately we didn't put in the right performance on the right day to stay in contention for the cup, and of course we are all very disappointed with that.

"Saying that I am pleased we got to the plate final and won it. This has been a wonderful opportunity to play in an amazing atmosphere and stadium, but it is not where we wanted to be."

England Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens Squad

Sue Day Wasps Captain
Maggie Alphonsi Saracens
Heather Fisher Wasps
Emma Layland Richmond
Charlotte Barras Saracens
Jo Yapp Worcester
Danielle Waterman Blaydon Team Northumbria
Alice Richardson Richmond
Rachael Burford Saracens
Claire Allan Saracens
Michaela Staniford Wasps
Katherine Merchant Worcester

England 12 Canada 0

Starting line-up: Day, Alphonsi, Barras, Burford, Richardson, Waterman, Merchant
Tries: Waterman, Merchant
Conversions: Burford
Substitutions: Fisher for Day, Staniford for Merchant (HT), Allan for Waterman (10)

England 12 Spain 7

Starting line-up: Day, Layland, Barras, Waterman, Burford, Allan, Staniford.
Tries: Burford, Barras
Conversions: Burford
Substitutions: Allan for Richardson, Merchant for Staniford, Alphonsi for Day.
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