Rugby World Cup Sevens: England shocked by Ireland in San Francisco

Ireland rugby sevens
Ireland won the Women's Trophy final against Russia during the Paris Sevens in June

England women have been knocked out of the main competition at the Rugby World Cup Sevens, beaten 19-14 by Ireland.

Defeat saw England go into the Challenge competition, where they beat Mexico 59-0 in the quarter-finals, with the winners of that tournament placing ninth overall in San Francisco.

Ireland lost 45-0 to New Zealand in the Championships quarter-finals and will now play Russia in the 5/8 place match.

England and Scotland's men are both into the Championship quarter-finals.

Scotland's Jamie Farndale scored a match-winning try in the final play of the game as his side defeated Kenya 31-26, while England ran out 19-15 winners over Samoa at AT&T Park.

Scotland will play South Africa in the last eight while England will face the USA.

Women's round-up

Since the end of the Women's Rugby World Cup last August, England Rugby has ensured the best female players in the game have been involved with the sevens series.

But such a sacrifice was dealt the biggest blow on Friday as England lost their opener in San Francisco to neighbours Ireland.

"We're gutted. We didn't come here to lose in our first game," said England vice-captain Emily Scarratt.

Ireland took a narrow 7-5 half-time lead before Amee Murphy Crowe scored twice in two minutes after the break to extend their advantage.

James Bailey's England side pulled a try back through Alex Matthews but left it too late to complete the comeback.

BBC 5 live rugby reporter Chris Jones said the result will be a "major disappointment for England and the Rugby Football Union, who channel resources into the sevens programme in between 15-a-side World Cups".


Former England men's sevens captain Rob Vickerman

This is a huge shock on paper as part-time Ireland have swept aside a fully professional England outfit.

In reality, Ireland's progression in the series meant that this wasn't a shock to those in the know. It was immense from Ireland, compounded by poor execution from England, and there will now be big questions over their sevens programme.

Men's round-up

While both England and Scotland are guaranteed a top-eight finish in San Francisco, Wales and Ireland will now do battle for a ninth-place finish at best.

Both enjoyed a promising start to play on Friday as Wales defeated Zimbabwe 33-12 and Ireland beat Chile 17-12 to progress from the qualifiers that determined the last 16.

But their tilts at the Championship title ended there with heavy defeats, with Wales failing to get a score on the board in a 35-0 defeat by the USA while Ireland lost 45-7 to South Africa.

Wales will play Samoa in Saturday's Challenge quarter-finals as Ireland come up against Kenya.


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