- England defeat Japan in play-off match
- Steep learning curve for England says Middleton
Photo: Michael Lee
England Women had to settle for a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Atlanta leg of the IRB Sevens World Series on Sunday (February 16).
Simon Middleton’s side were knocked out of the Cup competition by Dubai World Series winners Australia in the quarter-finals, before then losing to America in the Plate semi-finals. That defeat pooled England against Japan for the battle for seventh place, which England secured.
England Sevens Head Coach Simon Middleton, who took charge of this England side just last month, said: “We are obviously disappointed with the result this weekend. There are some positive elements but we need to have more consistency in our performances.
“We have high expectations of what we can achieve because we have quality players. We know that we have got to deliver quality performances in every game though, if we want to achieve the results we strive for.
“There is lots of work to be done this week but the players are up for it. We are all on a steep learning curve but we are looking forward to the challenge.”
England booked their place in the Cup quarter-finals after victories over Ireland (32-0) and the Netherlands (19-12) and a 14-5 defeat to reigning world champions New Zealand on Saturday.
Sunday, however, was a different day altogether for England with Australia taking a 17-12 win to secure a place in the semi-finals. England pushed Australia hard for that win, forcing the game into extra time when the match level at 12-12 at full-time. Wallaby captain Sharni Williams was decisive in the extra period though and put the vital points on the board.
England, however, failed to pick themselves up for the Plate semi-finals with the USA’s Jessica Javelet running in a hat-trick of tries to seal a convincing 5-19 victory.
England regrouped for the final match against Japan, taking a 19-12 win. A hat-trick of tries from Natasha Brennan and two conversions from Sarah McKenna secured the win.
England now sit fifth in the World Sevens Series ranking ahead of round three, which kicks off this Friday in Sao Paulo.
Claire Allan (VC) (Richmond)
Natasha Brennan (Richmond)
Abigail Chamberlain (C) (Richmond)
Heather Fisher (Worcester)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Sarah McKenna (Saracens)
Leanne Riley (Saracens)
Emily Scott (Thurrock)
Sally Tuson (Saracens)
Danielle Waterman (Bristol)
Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol)
Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
England Atlanta playing schedule:
England 32 Ireland 0
Tries: Brennan (3), Waterman, Allan, Chamberlain
England 19 Netherlands 12
Tries: Allan, Brennan, McKenna
Conversions: McKenna (2)
New Zealand 14 England 5
England 12 Australia 17
Tries: Chamberlain, Allan,
England 5 USA 19
England 19 Japan 5
Tries: Brennan (3)
Conversions: McKenna (2)