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England Women’s Sevens triumph in Moscow

08 June 2014

  • England win first round of European Grand Prix Series
  • Russia defeated in the final
England's Amy Wilson-Hardy

Photo: Rugbymatters.net

England Women Sevens were crowned champions of the first round of the FIRA/AER European Grand Prix on Sunday with a hard fought 24-20 victory over host side Russia in the final.

England, who went into this tournament with a young side including three new caps, took the tournament victory – their first of the season – with an impressive squad effort. Russia came back into the game and challenged for honours in the closing stages, but Simon Middleton's charges were not to be denied.

Saracens’ Leanne Riley opened England’s account before Sarah McKenna and Francesca Matthews ran in tries before the break. At half-time England led comfortably 17-0, but after the restart Russia came back into the game running in three tries to England’s one. England, however, clung on.

England Women’s Sevens Head Coach Middleton said: “I could not be more proud of the players today. We were going into the unknown this weekend with a young and inexperienced squad. I knew they were good players but we had to see them play. They have done a sublime job and exceeded all my expectations.

“The final was a tough match indeed, taking on Russia in their own backyard, and although we made a great start Russia came back at us. However, the players showed they have mature heads on young shoulders and kept their composure to hang on it there.

“Now we want to finish the job off in Brive next weekend and that is the next challenge. We will regroup this week and take that challenge head on.”

England booked their place in the cup final after a 29-0 win over Ireland in the quarter final before a 21-5 victory over the Netherlands in the semi. England will now head to Brive next weekend for the second and final round of the FIRA/AER Grand Prix Sevens.

England

Natasha Brennan (Richmond)
Abigail Brown (Hartpury)
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond, captain)
Hannah Field (Richmond)
Sydney Gregson (Bristol)
Sophie Lee (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Sarah McKenna (Saracens)
Leanne Riley (Saracens)
Emily Scott (Thurrock)
Joanne Watmore (Richmond)
Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol)

FIRA/AER Moscow Playing schedule

Saturday June 7

England 41 Belgium 0
Tries: Field (2), Wilson-Hardy, Matthews, Chamberlain, Scott, Brennan.
Conversions: Scott (3)

England 24 Portugal 7
Tries: Brennan (2), Scott, Riley
Conversions: Scott (2)

England 34 Ireland 5
Tries: Wilson-Hardy, Brennan (2), McKenna, Riley (2)
Conversions: Scott, McKenna

Sunday June 8

Quarter final: England 29 Ireland 0
Tries: Wilson-Hardy (2), Riley, Brennan, Brown
Conversions: Scott (2)

Semi final: England 21 Netherlands 5
Tries: Wilson-Hardy (2), Riley
Conversions: Scott (3)

Final: England 24 Russia 20
Tries: Riley (2), McKenna, Matthews,
Conversions: Scott (2)