England women have been knocked out of the main competition at the Rugby World Cup Sevens, losing 19-14 to Ireland.
The defeat means England now go into the Challenge competition, where they will face Mexico in the quarter-finals, with the winners of that tournament finishing 9th overall in San Francisco.
Ireland will play New Zealand in the Championship quarter-finals.
“We’re gutted. We didn’t come here to lose in our first game,” said England’s 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 XV-a-side World Cups”.
Former England men’s sevens captain Rob Vickerman
This is a huge shock on paper and from a wider context 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.
Share if you enjoyed this post!