Canada's women produced a display full of pace, power and commitment to beat England 26-7 and claim the first IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup in Dubai.
The eight-team tournament, played alongside the men's at the second round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, was the first IRB-sanctioned women's Sevens event and has been heralded a key landmark in the evolution of the women's game en route to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The Canadians were far too strong for their neighbours and great rivals USA, cruising to a 36-0 win in their semi final, and then withstood England's early pressure before posting a convincing victory.
England had won a close-fought battle with Australia in their semi final, although the Wallaroos did recover to claim a 22-5 victory in the third-fourth play-off match against USA. The reigning World Champions' blend of pace and skill was too much for USA as they claimed Bronze.
Spain claim Plate title
Spain followed up victory against China with a fine display to beat a highliy competitive South African side 28-0 and win the Plate. Earlier China edged Brazil 17-15 to finish in seventh place overall.
Day 2 (3 Dec 2011)
11:00 Plate SF - Spain 22-14 China
11:22 Plate SF - Brazil 5-19 South Africa
14:09 7th/8th Placing - China 17-14 Brazil
14:52 Cup SF - Canada 36-0 USA
15:14 Cup SF - England 12-10 Australia
16:36 Bronze - USA 5-22 Australia
16:58 Plate Final - Spain 28-0 South Africa
19:18 Cup Final - Canada 26-7 England
Day 1 (2 Dec 2011)
11:20 USA 22-10 South Africa
11:42 England 26-15 China
12:18 Australia 12-5 Spain
12:40 Canada 31-0 Brazil
14:44 USA 14-7 China
15:06 England 22-19 South Africa
16:00 Australia 40-0 Brazil
16:22 Canada 19-14 Spain
18:48 South Africa 28-14 China
19:10 USA 0-31 England
20:14 Australia 7-14 Canada
20:36 Brazil 0-19 Spain
The tournament represents a key delivery of the IRB Women’s Rugby Plan which was announced this week and makes a commitment to staging a world class Women’s Sevens event at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The IOC's decision to include Rugby Sevens as an Olympic Sport for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games has provided a significant impetus to the Women’s Game, which is already enjoying record participation around the world.
“Together with our Member Unions we have always had a strong commitment to grow the Game but we now have a strategic goal to host exceptional events and provide a global competition framework to ensure the increased competitiveness and standards of elite Women’s Rugby,” said Susan Carty, IRB Women’s Development Manager.
“We look forward to an exceptional competition here in Dubai and further Women’s Sevens events held alongside the HSBC Sevens World Series in 2012 to help prepare elite players for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow and ultimately the Olympic Games in 2016.”