- England end tournament with a win
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- Buy tickets for the London Sevens here
England Women Sevens finished seventh at the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Langford following their 29-24 win over Fiji in the seventh place play-off.
In their cup quarter-final game against New Zealand in their first game on day two, England produced a battling display but lost 12-17 to the Kiwis to set up the game against Canada, but went down 12-35 to the hosts.
In the pool stages on day one, England lost 14-24 to Fiji, were beaten 0-22 by pool winners New Zealand but finished strongly to secure a last eight place with a 31-17 victory over Brazil.
In the group stage loss to Fiji, England scored early on and it happened again when captain Abbie Brown went over inside the first 90 seconds with Emily Scott adding the extras.
Raijieli Daveua's reply for Fiji only lasted a minute as Vicky Fleetwood went over for England and she got her second soon after.
Despite the two score lead going into the second half, it was Fiji who responded when
Timaima Rosi Lulutai Ravisa crossed before Daveua's second gave them the lead for first time, 19-17.
However, England would not be denied as Scott and Lydia Thompson went over to secure the seventh place finish despite a late Fijiana score.
With home support behind them, Canada came out quickly and Sarah Kaljuvee crossed for the hosts inside the first minute despite an excellent cover tackle by Emily Scott in the build-up.
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In an open game, Deborah Fleming pounced on a loose ball and showed her natural pace around the outside for England's first score of the game, before Hannah Darling's break gave the Canadians a 14-5 half-time lead.
Some neat Canada offloading put Ghislaine Landry in before Bianca Farella's two scores put the game beyond doubt as the women in red secured the win, while Fleming got a consolation score at the end for England.
“We started and finished the day well and the group’s happy with how we played against New Zealand in what was a tight game where we demonstrated how we’d progressed from the first day’s performance," said head coach James Bailey.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get a few things right against Canada and they put in a strong performance against us, but credit to the girls to dig in and get a good result against Fiji to finish the day well.
“We only had ten players going into day two so I’m really pleased with the effort, the grit and determination from everyone to keep plugging away in some tough conditions.
“We’ll keep working hard now and our focus is on preparing ourselves for Paris as a key tournament in our build-up to the World Cup in San Francisco.”
After losing to New Zealand in the pool stages in an encouraging performance, Portia Woodman's finishing put the Kiwis up with their first meaningful attack of the game.
Just before the break, Woodman, the all-time women's top try scorer, sprinted around the outside for their second score before a superb Lydia Thompson break set up Abbie Brown for an easy try as it sat 7-12 to the Kiwis at the break.
In a topsy-turvy game, Sarah McKenna's brilliant line through the middle of the park set up Alex Matthews to go over as it sat 12-12 with three minutes to go.
However, after gathering the ball from the resultant restart, Woodman grabbed her hat-trick as she stepped outside and secured the win with her third score of the game.
Despite Heather Fisher's early score against Fiji, the Pacific Island outfit ran in four tries in their win with Alex Matthews getting the consolation score as time was dead.
In their second pool game, England enjoyed a lot of ball at times against New Zealand but were unbale to make the breakthrough from a well marshalled defence in defeat.
Knowing they had to win in the final pool match, England were ahead at half-time with scores from Emily Scott and Deborah Fleming.
Captain Abbie Brown's two tries and another from Fleming meant England finished the day strongly and secured a quarter-final spot against the Kiwis by beating Brazil.
England Women Sevens squad:
Abbie Brown ©, Heather Fisher, Victoria Fleetwood, Deborah Fleming, Olivia Jones, Katie Mason, Alex Matthews, Sarah McKenna, Chantelle Miell, Emily Scott, Lydia Thompson, Millie Wood.
England’s fixtures (all times BST):
Pool A: England 12-24 Fiji
Pool A: England 0-22 New Zealand
Pool A: England 31-17 Brazil
Cup quarter-final: England 12-17 New Zealand
Fifth place semi-final: England 12-35 Canada
Seventh place play-off: England 29-24 Fiji