England’s Women will head into the second day of FIRA-AER European Sevens Series action in Moscow tomorrow (Sunday) in a comfortable position after cruising through the pool stages with wins over Germany, Croatia and Portugal.
With the tournament doubling up as a Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 qualifier, England will be relieved to have breezed through the first day of action, scoring an impressive 141 points and also not conceding any. They now have to finish in the top five to qualify for next year’s RWC.
Next-up they face the Ukraine in the quarter-finals, while Russia, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Holland and France are also through to the knock-out stages.
England opened their account with a 36-0 victory over Germany. Skipper Michaela Staniford led by example, running in a hat-trick of tries while Rachel Burford, Joanne Watmore and Jane Leonard also crossed.
England then upped the ante against Croatia, this time with Natasha Brennan claiming a hat-trick and Staniford and new cap Sally Tuson touching down for two tries each. Sarah Guest and Alice Richardson were also on the score-board.
In the final game of the afternoon, England powered to a 50-0 victory over Portugal. It was Watmore’s turn this time to run in three tries, closely followed by Staniford with two. Natasha Hunt and Abigail Chamberlain also crossed.
England Women’s Sevens Head Coach Barry Maddocks said: “It is always tough to get the momentum going early on in tournaments like this but the squad did a great job to put their marker down early on. We played well today and were very switched on, taking our chances and defending well.
“We are obviously delighted to now be through to the quarter-final stages, knowing that we are now in a good position to seal our qualifying spot for the RWC. There are certainly going to be some tough selection headaches tomorrow because all 12 players have showed up today and deserve their chance tomorrow.”
England 36 Germany 0
Tries: Burford, Staniford (3), Watmore, Leonard,
Conversions: Richardson (2), Hunt
England 55 Croatia 0
Tries: Brenna (3), Tuson (2), Guest, Richardson, Staniford (2)
Conversions: Richardson (4), Burford
England 50 Portugal 0
Tries: Fisher, Staniford (2), Watmore (3), Hunt, Chamberlain,
Conversions: Burford (2), Richardson (3)
Natasha Brennan (Wasps)
Rachael Burford (Richmond)
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond)
Heather Fisher (Worcester)
Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
Sarah Guest (Worcester)
Jane Leonard (Wasps)
Alice Richardson (VC) (Richmond)
Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
Michaela Staniford (C) (Wasps)
Sally Tuson (Bristol)
Joanne Watmore (Worcester)