- England defeat hosts USA in thrilling final in Houston
- Worcester's Jo Watmore bags hat-trick to clinch victory
England Women Sevens sealed a Sevens double on Saturday night, and a quadruple victory for England teams in action this weekend, when they were crowned World Series round two champions in Houston, defeating the USA 29-12 in the final.
Barry Maddocks’ side matched their male counterparts Sevens success in New Zealand, and England’s double triumph in the RBS 6 Nations against Scotland on Saturday with some impressive performances in Texas which saw them also defeat New Zealand twice over two days.
A hat-trick of tries for Worcester’s Joanne Watmore, who also dazzled in the XVs world after making her debut in the autumn, eased England to the win, which was evenly matched until the second half. There were also scores for Michaela Staniford, Katherine Merchant, while skipper Alice Richardson added two conversions.
England Sevens Head Coach Maddocks said: “This is a brilliant weekend for England Rugby with a double in Sevens and a double in the Six Nations. Congratulations too to the Under 20s who also got off to a winning start. Certainly our players have been inspired by the performances back home and abroad.
“I am extremely pleased with the squad we brought over. They have all worked really hard while we have been here. These tournaments are a great opportunity to test ourselves and see where we are five months out from the World Cup. While we played some really positive rugby we have also identified the areas we need to continue to improve on over the coming tournaments.”
England booked their place in the Final after a tough semi-final clash against New Zealand – a side they had beaten 7-5 in the pool stages. Once again, the Black Ferns proved physically tough but some excellent work to keep them under pressure saw New Zealand crack at times and England showed some real pace and power to score through Watmore, Emily Scarratt and Staniford. Richardson added two conversions to take the 19-12 win.
England also saw off the Netherlands for a second time this weekend with a 17-7 quarter-final victory. Powerhouse Heather Fisher secured a brace of tries and Watmore also scored on her first touch of the ball after 30 seconds. Fisher also picked up the accolade of Player of the Tournament.
England Women's Sevens Houston Results
England 29 USA 12
Tries: Watmore (3), Merchant, Staniford
Conversions: Richardson (2)
England 19 New Zealand 12
Tries: Watmore, Scarratt, Staniford
England 19 Netherlands 14
Tries: Fisher (2), Watmore
Conversions: McLean (2)
England 17 Netherlands 7
Tries: Laybourn (2) Merchant
England 48 Trinidad & Tobago 0
Tries: Packer (2), Matthews, McLean (2), Staniford (2), Hunt
Conversions: McLean (3), Richardson
England 7 New Zealand 5