Europe’s two representatives in the Olympic repechage in Monaco have take the two places on offer for next month’s Olympic Games.
Two years ago both teams missed out at Europe’s qualifier, won by England, so it has been a long and nervous wait. As the only World Series teams in the tournament, they were overwhelming favourites but there were plenty of things to worry about, not least ending up in the same side of the knockout draw as each other.
That problem was largely “solved” before the tournament began when Jamaica withdrew “due to travel complications encountered by the delegation”. World Rugby then imposed a very strange rule which meant that the remaining teams in Pool B received no points at all for the games they would have played against the Jamaicans.
This very odd rule meant that – however well they performed – teams in Pool B would inevitably be the “third best” pool winners, runners-up or third-placed teams. It is a rule that seriously needs revisiting - it is very fortunate that Jamaica had not been drawn with France or Russia.
All the European teams needed to do as a result was win their games, and once the players hit the field, Russia and France were clearly on a different level to their opponents. France did not concede a point all weekend, while Russia dropped just one try, against Argentina. The outcome was never seriously in doubt.
While Europe did what they needed to do, Asia’s teams also looked good and it was no chance that both of that region’s teams made the finals. Kazakhstan beat both of Africa’s teams as well as Papua New Guinea, while Hong Kong saw off South America’s representatives, plus Madagascar.
Europe will therefore have three teams in Tokyo (Great Britain, France and Russia), as will Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and Fiji), Asia and North America will have two each (China and Japan, and USA and Canada). South Africa and Brazil will complete the twelve for Africa and South America.
Pool A: Argentina 36-0 Mexico; Russia 32-0 Samoa; Argentina 15-12 Samoa; Russia 55-0 Mexico; Mexico 17-20 Samoa; Russia 41-7 Argentina
Pool B: Papua New Guinea 5-46 Tunisia; Kazakhstan 12-0 Tunisia; Papua New Guinea 10-17 Kazakhstan
Pool C: Hong Kong 31-10 Colombia; France 49-0 Madagascar; Hong Kong 19-12 Madagascar; France 47-0 Colombia; Colombia 12-7 Madagascar; France 55-0 Hong Kong
Knockout round: Argentina 5-24 Hong Kong; Kazakhstan 29-21 Tunisia; Russia 29-0 Samoa; France 52-0 Colombia
Qualifier final 1: Kazakhstan 0-38 Russia
Qualifier final 2: Hong Kong 0-51 France
ARGENTINA: 1 Gimena Mattus; 2 Ariana Perez; 3 Andrea Moreno; 4 Renata Giraudo; 5 Yamila Otero; 6 Agostina Campos Ruiz; 7 Florencia Moreno; 8 Josefna Padellaro; 9 Mayra Aguilar; 10 Sofa Gonzalez; 11 Antonella Reding; 12 Maria Taladrid
COLOMBIA: 1 Maribel Mestra; 2 Isabel Romero; 3 Carmen Ibarra; 4 Daniela Alzate; 5 Valentina Alvarez; 6 Valeria Muñoz; 7 Isabel Arzuaga; 8 Leidy Soto; 9 Camila Lopera; 10 Laura Mejia; 11 Marcela Osorio; 12 Valentina Tapias
FRANCE: 1 Séraphine Okemba; 2 Anne-Cécile Ciofani; 3 Chloé Pelle; 4 Chloe Jacquet; 5 Jade Ulutule; 6 Fanny Horta; 7 Coralie Bertrand; 8 Camille Grassineau; 9 Carla Neisen; 10 Caroline Drouin; 11 Shannon Izar; 12 Lina Guerin
HONG KONG: 1 Natasha Olson-Thorne; 2 Shanna Forrest; 3 Chloe Chan; 4 Maggie Au Yeung; 5 Chow Mei Nam; 6 Melody Li; 7 Chong Ka Yan; 8 Nam Ka Man; 9 Jess Ho; 10 Stephanie Chan; 11 Hui Man Ling; 12 Agnes Tse
JAMAICA: Antonette Sinclair; Zonasha Hinds; Shanique Smith; Vanessa Henry; Tiera Thomas-Reynolds; Carolyn Roach; Lovell Evans; Lauren Dawkins; Shanae Gordon; Tarja Richards; Sasha-Gaye Green; Naomi Dodd
KAZAKHSTAN: 1 Veronika Stepanyuga; 2 Nigora Nurmatova; 3 Alina Askerova; 4 Daiana Kazibekova; 6 Vlada Odnoletok; 7 Kundyzay Baktybayeva; 8 Diana Abisheva; 9 Mariya Grishina; 10 Balzhan Koishybayeva; 11 Darya Tkachyova; 12 Lyudmila Sherer; 13 Galina Krassavina
MADAGASCAR: 1 Marie Bodonandrianina; 2 Laurence Rasoanandrasana; 3 Nomenjanahary Sarindra Sahondramalala; 4 Joela Mirasoa Fenohasina; 5 Sophie Razafarisoa; 6 Claudia Rasoarimalala; 7 Veronique Rasoanekena; 8 Dinah Raveloarinoro; 9 Vonjimalala Ranorovololona; 10 Tantely Razafmahefa; 11 Volatiana Rasoanandrasana; 12 Patricia Ravololonirina
MEXICO: 1 Michelle Farah; 2 Isabela González; 3 Jennifer Salomon; 6 Alessandra Bender; 7 Juanita Elguezabal-Dority; 8 Karmin Macedo; 9 Daniela Rosales; 10 Karina Landeros; 11 Vanessa Rodriguez; 12 Rosa Rivera; 13 Daniela Alvarado; 14 Maria Fernanda Tovar
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: 1 Kymlie Rapilla; 2 Fatima Rama; 3 Helen Abau; 4 Geua Larry; 5 Esther Gigimat; 7 Lynette Aua; 8 Gwen Pokana; 9 Chelsea Garesa; 10 Alice Alois; 11 Cathy Puro; 12 Taiva Lavai
RUSSIA: 1 Daria Noritsina; 2 Viktoriia Em; 3 Daria Shestakova; 4 Alena Tiron; 5 Baizat Khamidova; 6 Iana Danilova; 7 Kristina Seredina; 8 Marina Kukina; 9 Daria Lushina; 10 Elena Zdrokova; 11 Nadezhda Sozonova; 12 Anna Baranchuk
SAMOA: 1 Fogamanono Tusiga; 2 Rebirth Vaaga; 3 Perise Tumutumu; 4 Faalua Lefulefu; 5 Fofoga Vaa; 6 Jasmine Esekia; 7 Fuarosa Niusila; 8 Linda Fiafa; 9 Saelua Leaula; 10 Lomi Peniamina; 11 Ofa Sopoaga; 12 Elisapeta Leti
TUNISIA: 1 Yasmine Korbi; 2 Lamia Mlawah; 3 Sana Chaarana; 4 Mariem Mekni; 5 Ameni Ben Salem; 6 Oumayma Dziri; 7 Samah Lahwel; 8 Amal Dardouri; 9 Mayssa Hawani; 10 Amna Ben Arous; 11 Hajer Saoudi; 12 Halima Ben Charrada