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Spain win 10th European title

Spain are European Champions again, qnd qualify for the WXV.

In 2009 Sweden recorded one the greatest upsets in women’s test history when the beat Spain 11-6 to qualify for the 2010 World Cup at Spain’s expense. But within four years Swedish involvement in test rugby went on hold the better part of a decade. Now they are back, but it will take some time yet before they can challenge the top nations again.

This game was a huge step up for Sweden, even beyond the game against the Netherlands. Even with ball in hand Spanish pressure drove the Swedish back from each phase, and as soon as they gained possession exploded forward. Every small Swedish error was punished.

It took just three minutes for Spain to get on the scoreboard. Swedish inexperience resulted in an offside penalty, from which Spain quickly put the Swedish defence under pressure, leading to a try for Zahia Perez. 7-0

The second try came in the 10th minute from Maider Aresti, squeezing in at the corner following  5m scrum. 12-0. 62-0.

On 14 minutes, a Swedish scrum was driven backwards, Spain picked up the loose ball and Aresti was in for her second try. 19-0

Vico Gorrochategui was on the scoreboard almost straight from the restart, Sweden being turned over and a great run from Claudia Perez setting up the try. 24-0

Alba Vinuesa ended a back move on 21’ with a try in the corner. 31-0.

In the 25th minute Marta Carmona broke away from inside her own 22, was tackled just short of the line by Frida Nilsson, but Spanish support was on hand to work he ball to the opposite wing and a try for Claudia Perez. 36-0

Again, the Swedish scrum was driven off their own ball on 36’, setting up a second try for Vinuesa 43-0, which was the score at halftime.

Within two minutes of the restart Claudia Perez found herself with a massive overlap on the left wing, and 50 points were on the board.

Sweden had a promising couple of minutes after the restart and broke into Spain’s 22, but were turned over and within seconds Aresti had scored her third and Spain’s ninth try. 55-0.

Aresti added her fourth in the 53rd minute, following a Spanish lineout, the ball finding her in space and scoring under the posts. 62-0.

Two minutes later, and it was Lucia Gayoso’s turn, benefitting from a massive overlap. 69-0.

However, on the hour Olivia Palmgren, taking advantage of a series of Spanish penalties, scored Sweden’s their first try against Spain since that game in 2009. 69-5.

But as the replacements settled into the game after 67’ Spain were back, Cecilia Huarte scoring (76-5) followed by Alba Alpin four minutes later (83-5).

The game was rounded off with a try for Zahia Perez, who had opened the scoring. Final score: 90-5.

SPAIN: 1 Marta Estelles; 2 Cristina Blanco©; 3 Maria Roman; 4 Anna Puig; 5 Kasandra Sylla; 6 Lucia Gayoso; 7 Vico Gorrochategui; 8 Carmen Castellucci; 9 Lucia Diaz; 10 Zahia Perez; 11 Marta Carmona; 12 Maider Aresti; 13 Alba Vinuesa; 14 Claudia Perez; 15 Claudia Peña
16 Ines Antolinez; 17 Maria Miguel; 18 Sidorella Bracic; 19 Cristina Garcia; 20 Alba Capell; 21 Alba Alpin; 22 Ines Bueso-Inchausti; 23 Cecilia Huarte

SWEDEN: 1 Elin Olofsson; 2 Sara Lennvall; 3 Jennifer Sundqvist; 4 Matilda Mahlberg; 5 Cornelia Noren; 6 Elin Sterner; 7 Emma Ytterbom; 8 Maja Meuller; 9 Olivia Palmgren; 10 Frida Nilsson; 11 Sara Jacobsson; 13 Tess Proos; 12 Minonna Nunstedt; 14 Linda Hakansson; 15 Amanda Swartz©
16 Hannah Persson; 17 Linn Olforser; 18 Marielle Andersson; 19 Linnea Flyman; 20 Michaela Brown; 21 Sandra Irvefjord; 22 Sofya Smolina; 23 Isabell Wijkstrom