Danielle Waterman and her England teammates overpowered World Champions New Zealand to win the Cup Final of the Langford Sevens on April 17 and their first Series Cup title since 2013.
England finished second in Pool C after losing to Canada but more than made amends on day two with wins over USA (29-7), HSBC Women’s Sevens Series leaders Australia (15-5) and New Zealand (31-14) to lift the title.
In the final, England edged the first half 19-14 with two tries from Heather Fisher, who was later named Player of the Final.
In the second period, Alice Richardson scored her second of the game before Joanne Watmore scored to seal a 31-14 victory.
“It was an awesome first half,” said captain Emily Scarratt. “There was a bit of ping pong to start, with tries scored and conceded but the girls dug deep.
“We’ve had a good couple of weeks out here in America and Canada and it’s been a really long while for an England Women’s Sevens team to get something like this in our hands and so we’re over the moon.”
Coach Simon Middleton added: “The girl’s put in a spectacular day of rugby. These tournaments are all about day two as we have just proved as our performances all day were sensational.
“We didn’t have a great day one but we dusted ourselves off and the girls have shown what a talented group they are and what great shape they are in.”
With under four months to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Middleton added: “We came into this double legger [Atlanta and Langford] wanting to get certain results to progress as a squad and we got that.”
Heading into the final round in Clermont-Ferrand, France on 28-29 May, England remain third in the overall Series standings, but now sit just four points behind New Zealand’s 64, with Australia well ahead on 76.
Abbie Brown, Heather Fisher, Natasha Hunt, Sarah Mckenna, Katy Mclean, Alice Richardson, Emily Scarratt (C), Emily Scott, Danielle Waterman, Jo Watmore, Kay Wilson, Amy Wilson-Hardy
England 31 – 14 New Zealand
Tries: Fisher (2), Richardson (2), Watmore
Conversions: Mclean (3)
Australia 5 – 15 England
Tries: Scarratt, Brown, Watmore
Cup quarter final:
USA 7 – 29 England
Tries: Waterman (2), Watmore (2), Fisher
Conversions: Mclean (2)
England Pool C results:
England v Ireland 29 – 5
England v Japan 28 – 22
Canada v England 5 – 0