Playing in sunny but blustery conditions, Spain and England A were still level at 0-0 at half-time. Ten minutes into the second period England narrowly missed going ahead, Ceri Large hitting the bar with a penalty, shortly followed by Jane Leonard going close when she picked up and drove forward, but she spilled the ball to end England’s charge.
Then, with 20 minutes to go, Spain - playing without their captain and scrumhalf (suspended for two weeks due to foul play in the previous game) - broke the deadlock with a Patricia Garcia penalty.
Fran Matthews came close to scoring with a nice break a few minutes later, but she was brought down just short of the try-line, while England’s forwards also came close on a couple of occasions with some threatening line-outs, catch and drives. On every occasion though Spain’s defence was immense and England couldn’t break through their wall of defence.
In the final ten minutes of the game England really ramped up the pressure. They came close on a handful of occasions but were kept out - until some good kicking put England in a threatening position. With two minutes left a scrum in the corner gave England the opportunity to drive forward and controlling it well England pushed over with Sarah Hunter at Number 8 making the final decisive move. Scrum half Georgina Rozario kickied the ball out of play immediately after the restart and England had stolen the title in front of Spain’s home crowd by 5 points to 3.
|Action from France vs Italy|
Netherlands were pushed all the way by Sweden in the vital fifth place game - vital because victory would give the winners a guaranteed place in next year's European Championship. Though Netherlands lead from the 21st minute, Sweden stayed within striking distance until the final ten minutes, when two converted tries saw them Dutch home 21-5.
Finland's hero of the day was their captain, Minna Raatikka, who scored their first and only try of the tournament. However it was not enough to prevent Russia from taking 7th place with a 22-5 victory.