Women’s Super-Series status update

Women's Super-Series
CHULA VISTA, CA - JULY 6: Carla Hohepa #13 of New Zealand tries to evade the tackle of Maelle Filipino #13 of France during the Women's Rugby Super Series 2019 match between France and New Zealand at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center on July 6, 2019 in Chula Vista, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

The Women’s Super-Series draws towards its final round of action. The race for first place is in the balance. The tournament was designed to further advance the women’s game and provide quality competition for the best sides in the world.

Although there have been some complaints about the standard of the facilities in San Diego, the quality of the rugby has hit new heights. David Challis provides a status update on all the teams involved. Looking at how the tournament has gone and where they can improve going forward

England – Finding Ways to Win

England swept all that was before them in the Six Nations, winning the Grand Slam. They came in as one of the favourites and are currently unbeaten going into the final match. However against both Canada and France they have had to fight from behind to win and looked unconvincing at times.

The likes of Emily Scarratt and Zoe Harrison have shown their class throughout but it has not been all plain sailing for England. However the fact that they have come through some close games and won is a big plus in itself. Simon Middleton will be happy overall but the big test comes against world champions New Zealand on Sunday.

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France – Tremendously Unpredictable

Just like the men’s team France’s women have been very hit and miss in this tournament. They were comfortably by Canada in the first round and looked poor. Then they bounced back to cause a huge upset against New Zealand.

Against England they were scintillating in the first half but ultimately came up short by the final whilst. That game probably summed up their inconsistency overall. The likes of Jessy Tremouliere and Camille Imart have been plus points, showing an excellent kicking game to gain field position.

A win against the USA on Sunday will demonstrate success for France although, they need to maintain some continuity to improve further. In the New Year is the upcoming 2020 Women’s Six Nations championship – a target for the determined French women.

USA – The new ‘Up and Comers’

American rugby is always improving year on year but in the Super-Series they have been shown up a bit in places. In their first two games they were comfortably beaten by England and New Zealand. Looking at those result many would have thought it could be a long tournament for them.

However, they pulled off a shock win over Canada in the fourth round of the competition. This has shown that they belong at the top table of the Women’s game. Kate Zackary and Elizabeth Cairns have been excellent at the breakdown and shown the potential of this young squad.

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Canada – Hit and Miss

Much like the French, Canada have been hit and miss in the Super-Series. They were excellent against France with Sophie de Goede being particularly impressive. Again against England they played well but could not quite get the result.

However things took a dive against the USA who they would have expected to beat. Defeat was a shock to the Canadians and they will finish the tournament with just one win as they have a bye in the final round. Going forward, Sandro Fiorinio’s team need to become more clinical if they want to win the bigger games. However there is much to come from this side.

New Zealand – Shocked but Still Impressive

Any defeat for a New Zealand rugby side is a disappointment so the Black Ferns will not be happy with the tournament. They have been given an eight-day break before their decider against England.

Expect the Black Ferns to come out fighting and England should be worried.

In their other games, New Zealand has been characteristically imperious. Their defeats of Canada and USA have shown their true colours. Carla Hohepa and Eloise Blackwell have been notably impressive throughout.

Women’s Super-Series

Concluding thoughts

The Women’s Super-Series has showcased the major improvements of Women’s Rugby. It has been great to watch throughout and there is a thrilling conclusion to come. England vs New Zealand on Sunday will be one for the ages, and will show us who is the current ‘top dogs’ in Women’s rugby.

Round Five – Women’s Super Series:

United States v France | England v New Zealand

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