- Maddock: We've all learned lessons from tough opposition
- Laybourn finishes with six tries at first global tournament
England’s women finished their Dubai Sevens campaign with a 24-5 win over the Netherlands at the end of two days of encouraging progress from a young squad.
Day two started with defeats at the hands of eventual champions New Zealand (31-0) and Canada (24-0) before the Dutch were defeated in a repeat of last May’s London final.
Photo: Martin Seras Lima
And head coach Barry Maddock was satisfied with the way his young side responded when faced with such a steep learning curve, with several leading performers on duty in the 15-a-side team facing New Zealand at Twickenham.
Ruth Laybourn added a try against the Netherlands to finish with six tries from the weekend’s efforts. Emily Scott struck twice after captain Abi Chamberlain scored the opener.
Maddock said: “We learned a lot over the last couple of days about the players and they’ve learned a lot about the standard they need to be at. We faced two tough sides in Canada and the All Blacks, so to finish off with a win against Holland was important to us.”
Laybourn, an agricultural ecologist from York, has an athletics background as a sprinter and multi-eventer who reached national finals as a teenager and emerged from the opening leg of the new IRB Women’s Sevens World Series with new confidence.
“It’s been fantastic to play some of the bigger nations and also against the European nations we’ve faced before,” she said.
“We’ve learned to play to our strengths, like moving the ball wide, and I have more confidence in my pace and in the people inside me. If we can carry on working together there’s a lot of positives to come out of the weekend.”
On day one England had beaten Brazil 22-0 and Spain 17-7 after going down 20-5 against eventual finalists South Africa.
The next leg of the Women’s Sevens World Series is in Houston on February 1-2.