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Sao Paulo Sevens: Day 1 wrap

The third leg of the Women’s Sevens World Series began in Sao Paulo in very different conditions to the previous week in Atlanta. Heat and humidity were the big problem, rather than cold, but this did not get in the way of some great rugby.

Pool A was won by New Zealand, who had comfortable wins over Ireland and the United States before finding England a very different challenge. In one of the best matches of the day, the game swung both ways before New Zealand finally clinched victory with a try from the final play, through Sarah Goss to make it 21-14.

England found their games with the United States and Ireland also challenging – Ireland holding England to 7-7 in the first half of their game before fitness and experience told in the second half, England running out 29-7 with another strong display from Natasha Brennan.

As a result, and despite some good performances, the United States needed to beat Ireland by a good margin to stand any chance of making the quarter-finals, but could only win by 22-0 – which would not prove to be enough.

Pool B saw Australia in dominant form. Apart from the shock of going a try down to Japan in the opening seconds of that fixture, they were rarely troubled in any of their games – even whitewashing Russia by 34-0 and scoring some top tries on the way. 

Prior to this game Russia had not conceded a point, and took the second spot in the pool comfortably.

Japan continue to improve and were impressive against Russia, despite going down 17-0. They entered their final game with Argentina needing to win by over 25 points, and succeeded with room to spare, taking the final quarter-final space at the expense of the United States.

Finally Argentina were largely outclassed by far more experienced opponents, failing to score a point while conceding over 100 in their three games.

Pool C always looked close and proved to be. Highlights were the Netherlands win over Spain – one of their best performances since making the final in London in 2012. However, it still left them in third thanks to a dramatic comeback by Spain against Canada, from 19-0 down to win 28-26. Canada still took the pool due to a 40-7 win over Brazil, who played well for periods in all of their games and came close to stealing a win against the Dutch, but finished the day with no points.

Tomorrow’s quarter-finals will see Australia meet Japan, Russia take on England (always a huge battle!), the Dutch rewarded with their improved performance with a game against New Zealand, and finally a repeat of Canada v Spain. In the Bowl the USA will play Argentina, and Brazil will meet Ireland.

Group A

 New Zealand3007414
 United States1022736
  • New Zealand 36–0 Ireland
  • England 19-5 United States
  • New Zealand 17-0 United States
  • England 29-7 Ireland
  • United States 22-0 Ireland
  • New Zealand 21-14 England

Group B

  • Australia 37-0 Argentina
  • Russia 17-0 Japan
  • Australia 24-7 Japan
  • Russia 29-0 Argentina
  • Japan 37-0 Argentina
  • Australia 34-0 Russia

Group C

  • Spain 21-5 Brazil
  • Canada 17-5 Netherlands
  • Canada 40-7 Brazil
  • Spain 5-12 Netherlands
  • Brazil 14-20 Netherlands
  • Canada 26-28 Spain