I said in my preview that there would be two close matches in the opening round with Fiji v Spain and England v Ireland the only matches likely to cause an upset to the carefully crafted seeded games.
And so it proved, but I must admit that I got my predictions for the winners of those games completely wrong with Spain and Ireland both coming out on top against their higher seeded opponents.
Pla opened the scoring for Spain in their match against Fiji. However, when Fiji it back, through Cumu, almost immediately it looked as though Fiji would push on for the win.
However tries from Bravo and Martinez Garcia either side of half time gave Spain the decisive lead. Fiji’s Ravisa crossed with five minutes still on the clock, a huge amount of time in Sevens rugby, but Spain dug deep in defence and, marshalled expertly by Patricia Garcia, they held on for a remarkable win and a quarterfinal spot against Australia.
In the Ireland v England game, Ireland came out bustling for a fight and they took an aggressive game to their English opponents. It was a match peppered with mistakes but it was the aggressive play from Ireland that were causing most of them and when Stacey Flood sent Ashleigh Baxter through for the opening score Ireland deserved nothing less.
In fact Ireland should have extended their lead immediately after, only for Emily Scarratt to make two try saving turnovers and it looked as though Scarratt was going to break Ireland’s hearts as she crossed for a converted try to give England a 7 – 5 lead at the break.
However Ireland’s aggressive defence had England bumbling and fumbling for most of the second half and Ireland exploited the uncertainty in the England defence to send Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe over for two converted tries to give Ireland a 7 = 19 lead with three minutes left. England set up a tense finish with a try from Alex Matthews in the last minute3 but a knock on at the restart game the game to Ireland a memorable 14 – 19 win.
Ireland now face New Zealand in the quarter final, kick off 1:30 am Saturday morning.
Results for the Women’s opening round of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens
FIJI 7S 12 – 19 SPAIN 7S
FRANCE 7S 33 – 7 JAPAN 7S
RUSSIA 7S 24 – 14 SOUTH AFRICA 7S
CANADA 7S 43 – 19 BRAZIL 7S
AUSTRALIA 7S 34 – 5 PAPUA NEW GUINEA 7S
NEW ZEALAND 7S 57 – 0 MEXICO 7S
ENGLAND 7S 14 – 19 IRELAND 7S
USA 7S 38 – 7 CHINA 7S
Cup Quarter Final Draw
IRELAND 7S V NEW ZEALAND 7S
01:30, Sat 21 Jul 2018
SPAIN 7S V AUSTRALIA 7S
01:52, Sat 21 Jul 2018
FRANCE 7S V CANADA 7S
02:14, Sat 21 Jul 2018
USA 7S V RUSSIA 7S
02:36, Sat 21 Jul 2018
All times UK/IRE
Catch the live stream for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens here – https://www.rwcsevens.com/