Great Britain kicked off their 2016 Olympic sevens challenge by making their debut at the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix in Moscow this weekend.
Two British sides entered the competition, GB Lions and GB Royals, filling the spots usually occupied by England and Wales.
Both Great Britain teams had impressive debuts on the Saturday, each topping difficult pools.
The Lions, featuring several of England and Wales’ top players from the World Series, defeated Georgia (17-7) and Lithuania (42-0) before toppling hosts Russia in a tense 17-12 clash.
The Royals, including converts from the 15 man game Cory Allen and Joe Simpson, dominated Pool A with impressive victories over Portugal (14-7), Poland (28-7) and France (36-7).
In Sunday’s action the Lions narrowly fell 15-17 to France in the Cup quarter-finals, pushing them into the Plate competition. Victories over Portugal and Georgia followed, as the GB Lions won the Plate Final 15-12.
The Royals were able to go one better than their countrymen, defeating Georgia 36-0 in the Cup quarter-final, before falling to a Russia side passionately cheered on by the home crowd. The Royals were able to end on a high, claiming third place by overcoming Germany in the Bronze Final.
Scotland’s Mark Bennett was one of the stars of the weekend, scoring seven tries to finish as the tournament’s top try scorer.
In the Cup Final, Russia ran out winners in front of their home crowd, comfortably defeating France 24-7. In Sunday’s other games, Italy won the Bowl, overcoming Poland 21-12 in the final.
After an excellent start to the Sevens Grand Prix, both Russia and France have put themselves in a strong position to take the overall series title later in the year, while Great Britain will be looking for improved performances and build towards the Rio Olympics.
The next leg of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix is the Mitsubishi Motors Exeter Sevens at Sandy Park on 9-10 July, which will be LIVE-Streamed and free of charge at Rugby Europe TV, the digital streaming channel from Rugby Europe. For more details visit rugbyeurope.tv.
Follow all the sevens action on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #RugbyEurope, #7sGPS
More information on : http://www.rugbyeurope.eu/group-290.htm
Bowl Bronze Final
Lithuania 12 Poland 29
Belgium 12 Italy 14
Plate Bronze Final
Spain 19 Portugal 7
Georgia 12 Great Britain Lions 15
Cup Bronze Final
Great Britain Royals 28 Germany 5
Russia 24 France 7