Russia Women Team crowned European Champion 2016 in Malemort
Dramatic 26-5 victory against France seals Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series 2016. A sensational Summer of Sevens came to a thrilling finale in Malemort, France as Russia claimed both the 2016 Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series and European Champion titles.
Russia reached the Cup Final in dominant fashion, defeating a spirited Ireland team 27-5, while a last minute try from Carla Neissen kept France’s hopes alive in a 22-19 victory of Great Britain Lions. Both sides came into the tournament in Malemort knowing that taking the tournament title would give them a chance of walking home with the European title as well.
After France claimed the Kazan Sevens title in June, Russia were out to return the favourite against a young France side in Malemort. Despite getting off to a strong start through Charlotte Torres Duxan’s early try, France were unable to cope with Russia’ pace and power, with the Russians running in 26 unanswered points to claim the title.
France Women finished second in the 2016 Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series and European Championship, with Ireland claimed the Bronze Medal after fourth places finishes in Kazan and Malemort. Great Britain finished third in the Women’s Grand Prix Series but are not a Rugby Europe member so are not ranked in the European Championship.
Before Russia’s outstanding Cup Final victory, fans in Malemort were treated to two the climax of the Bowl and Plate competitions.
Italy ran out comfortable 34-0 winners in the Bowl Final over Finland to finish their sevens season on a positive note, while the Netherlands capped a superb tournament by overcoming Great Britain Royals in the Plate Final.
A heart breaking 14-7 defeat to Italy in the Bowl Semi Final consigned Ukraine to relegation to next year’s Rugby Europe Women’ Sevens Trophy, while Finland fell to Italy losing 34-0 in the Bowl Final. After finishing bottom in Kazan, passionate Ukraine and Finland sides had to improve this weekend in order to maintain their Grand Prix Series place for 2017. Sweden and Poland will replace Ukraine and Finland in next year’s Grand Prix Series after dominating both legs in the 2016 Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Trophy.
The Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix has seen some outstanding rugby from some rising stars in women’s rugby sevens catching the eye in both Kazan and Malemort. Russia’s Elena Zdrokova ran in nine tries in Malemort to become both the top try and points scorer across the two tournaments.