- England defeat Canada, South Africa and France
- England face France in quarter-finals
England Women will face France in the quarter-finals of the final leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in Amsterdam on Saturday after wins over South Africa, France and Canada today (Friday).
With six changes to the squad that won the London Sevens five days ago, this new-looking, young England side showed tremendous hunger to make the final eight after three close-fought games on day one.
England Women’s Sevens Head Coach Barry Maddocks said: “Coming here with a young side and a new looking squad our primary aim was to get through a very difficult pool and we have done that. We made a slow start, picked it up against France and then the last game against Canada was all about desire and passion and that is great to see. We made some good decisions in our final match and we need to continue that momentum as we head into day two and against France, who I am sure will be looking to reverse that earlier defeat to us.”
Darlington Mowden Parks’ Ruth Laybourn topped England’s try tally on day one with a touch down in every game while Alexandra Matthews also showed great strength and nice footwork to score in England’s opening match against South Africa alongside Natasha Brennan. England took that win 17-14.
In the second match of the day Laybourn opened the scoring for England just before the break and then Abigail Chamberlain showed a great turn of pace to score an important try in the dying seconds against France (12-5).
Canada were England’s opponents in their final match and England worked hard to record a second win over the Canucks in a week – England defeated Canada 17-12 in the London Sevens semi-finals on Sunday. Laybourn opened England’s account again before Claire Allan added a second try in the last minute of the game to secure a 14-0 win.
England head into Saturday sitting second in the World Series ranking but know they can only topple leaders New Zealand if their rivals fail to make the semi-finals. They face Spain, while Australia play Russia and the USA take on Canada.
Day 1 Results:
England 17 South Africa 14
Tries: Brennan, A Matthews, Laybourn
England 12 France 5
Tries: Laybourn, Chamberlain
England 14 Canada 0
Tries: Laybourn, Allan
England Women's Sevens
Claire Allan (VC) (Richmond)
Sonia Green (Wasps)
Natasha Brennan (Wasps)
Rachael Burford (Thurrock)
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond)
Ruth Laybourn (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)
Katy McLean (C) (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Marlie Packer (Bristol)
Emily Scott (Thurrock)
Kay Wilson (Bristol)