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Promising future for young women's sevens side

04 December 2011

  • Impressive young outfit reaches Dubai final
  • We exceeded expectations, says Maddocks

England’s young women’s sevens side enjoyed a great run to the Dubai final before coming up short against a powerful Canada outfit.

They struck first in the final with a try from Jo Watmore (Worcester) with Sarah McKenna (Wasps) converting.

But Canada’s kicking game troubled them all night and tries from Ashley Steacy (2), Cheryl Phillips and Ghislaine Landry earned them a 26-7 victory.

“I’m disappointed but overall we exceeded expectations to get to the final here,” said head coach Barry Maddocks.

“We had a tough game in the semi final against Australia when the girls really fronted up but possibly Canada just had a little bit too much. As long as we learn from it, that’s what will move us forward.”

England’s side – average age 23 – had kept on improving throughout the first day, China 26-15, South Africa 22-19 and the USA 31-0, with impressive performances from teenagers like 18 year-old Leanne Riley (Saracens).

Michaela Staniford (Wasps) led the way in midfield after joining the squad following two 15-a-side test wins against New Zealand. She scored a hat trick against China with two more tries against the USA.

England then hung on to beat Australia in a semi final thriller, McKenna and Watmore scoring tries with McKenna converting her own effort.

Australia rallied with two scores from Emilee Cherry but some great defence closed out a 12-10 victory.