|Desperate Italian defence in the closing moments|
of their game v Netherlands
The result of this was to promote the young and experimental Netherlands team to a 5th place play-off against Sweden, renewing one of the game's oldest rivalries. The teams first met in 1984 - long before England first made it onto the field - and Netherlands have won 13 of their 15 meetings.
Sweden pushed Spain close, going down only 18-3, though the Spanish were obviously keeping their powder dry for Saturday's final. Opponents England eased past Russia 39-0. Seven tries - which is good - but only two converted, which slightly worrying.
The day was rounded off with a 109-3 victory by France over Finland - 17 tries in a rout that did not let up from the 2nd minutes to the final whistle. France will now take on Italy in the 3rd place game, while the tournament will be rounded off with Russia facing neighbours Finland for 7th place.
As for the final, England A and Spain met in March in Guildford, with England running out 34-7 winners. However that is probably not much of a guide, partly because England are somewhat changed, but mainly because Spain are playing their more important game of the year (decade even), and in front of a vocal and partisan crowd. Should be a great game/