July 9 2012
England Men and Ladies have been very busy this summer but they have brought home the silverware. Well done!
England 7s Double Success
England Men and Ladies have been busy this summer.
England Women celebrated a double victory when they lifted the European Sevens Series title in Moscow, beating Spain 27-7 in the final, and in doing so qualified for next year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens. Playing in their last tournament of the season, they were in top form cruising through the pool stages nilling Portugal, Croatia and Germany before then dominating the knock out stages of the tournament . England faced the Ukraine and knew they had to win to book their place in next year’s Rugby World Cup, which will also be staged in Moscow. They did just that, running in five tries, including a hat-trick for Worcester’s Joanne Watmore, on route to the 31-5 victory.
Next-up they faced a sharp looking Russia side in the semi-finals and as expected they pushed England scoring 12 points. But England proved too strong with Watmore running in a further two touch downs and skipper Michaela Staniford also scoring while Alice Richardson converted a penalty try. With Richardson also kicking two conversions England sealed a 24-12 victory.
England then took on Spain in the final, Spain once again threatened England and put a try on them but England were in dominant form and ran in five tries thanks to Watmore (2), Staniford (2) and Heather Fisher. With Richardson also adding a conversion England took a 27-7 victory and their third tournament win of the season after wins in the IRB Challenge Cups in Hong Kong and London.
England Sevens Head Coach Barry Maddocks said: “Our primary aim this weekend was to qualify for the Rugby World Cup so to then win the title as well is a massive bonus. “This has been a good season and I am delighted for the players. We have come a long way since coming together as a squad 14 months ago, and the hard work from everyone involved has really paid off.
“The challenge now is to keep going forward and getting better and we certainly plan to do that as we look towards the Rugby World Cup next season.”
Ben Ryan England 7s Coach
England wrapped up victory in this summer's FIRA-AER European Sevens GP Series by reaching the Plate final in Odense. Head coach Ben Ryan's mix of full-timers, new signings and triallists had carried all before them in winning tournaments in Lyon and Moscow already this summer.
They exited the cup competition in the third leg in Denmark after a 14-7 defeat against France but a 28-21 victory against Russia in the Plate semi final assured them of overall victory. Former IRB Sevens Player of the Year Ollie Phillips dominated the win over Russia with a hat-trick of tries, converting all three and then adding the extra points to a score from Dan Norton. Once the title was won, England dipped out 21-14 against Georgia in the Plate final, but after winning 17 out of 20 European games Ryan was satisfied with the outcome.
The final leg was more dramatic than we'd have liked and we wanted to win all three European tournaments but we achieved the goals we set ourselves in this competition," said Ryan. "We wanted to win the European title and we wanted to blood new players, and only two of the squad featured in all three tournaments, so it was pleasing to be able to mix things up.
"We had three who were 19 or younger in Odense in James Lightfoot-Brown, Joel Hodgson (Newcastle Falcons) and Marcus Webber (Manchester GS & Leeds Carnegie), so the future's looking very bright."