Danielle Waterman and her England Women teammates claimed fourth place in the 2015/16 HSBC World Sevens Series, after a same-place finish in the final round at Clermont-Ferrand on May 29.
Having topped Pool A on day one, the side were unable to continue their winning run on the second day of competition, after losing 31-10 to Canada in the semi-finals. Canada went on to win the tournament in France. England’s Kay Wilson opened the score with Abbie Brown coming off the bench to touch down in the second half but Canada proved too good, scoring five times.
England then faced New Zealand in the third-place play off, losing 5-22 at the final whistle. New Zealand took charge from the outset and, despite a try from Natasha Brennan following a break from Heather Fisher, England were trailing 5-12 at the end of the first half. That deficit grew with New Zealand scoring again in the second half, with a loose ball providing them with a final try at the whistle.
Head Coach Simon Middleton said: “These tournaments are all about day two. We were pretty good this morning against the USA in the quarter-finals but had a disappointing game against Canada, who had a great day two. After the win in Langford, we are a bit disappointed to finish fourth.”
Victories over USA (26-7), Kenya (22-0) and Spain (26-7) on Saturday had secured England’s path into the quarter-finals of the Cup where they faced a re-match against United States. England led 14-0 at the break with tries from Brennan and Emily Scarratt with Katy Mclean converting both to set up the semi-final clash with Canada.
With just over two months until rugby sevens makes its Olympic debut, Middleton added: “We’ve got players who have played consistently well throughout the year and a really strong squad to take to Brazil. There’s a lot of competition for places, including among those still back home. We recognise that we’re still developing, but with a couple of months left to do the fine tuning, we’re where we need to be.”
Third place play-off
England 5 – 22 New Zealand Try: Brennan
Cup semi final
England 10 – 31 Canada Tries: Brown, Wilson
Cup quarter final England 21 – 12 USA Tries: Brennan, Scarratt (2) Conversions: Mclean (3)
Day one pool results: England 26 – 7 USA Tries: Brennan, Fisher (2), Hunt Conversions: Mclean (3)
England 22 – 0 Kenya Tries: Scott, Waterman, Wilson, Wilson Hardy Conversion: Mclean
England 26 – 7 Spain Tries: Scott, Wilson (2), Wilson Hardy Conversions: Hunt, Mclean, Scott
England squad Clermont-Ferrand
Claire Allan, Natasha Brennan, Abbie Brown, Heather Fisher, Natasha Hunt, Katy Mclean, Alice Richardson, Emily Scarratt (C), Emily Scott, Danielle Waterman, Kay Wilson, Amy Wilson Hardy