87-0 victory crowns Spain Rugby Europe Women’s Champions 2020

Spain Rugby Europe Women's Champions 2020

On February 28, the crown was firmly positioned with Spain Rugby Europe Women’s Champions for 2020. With their win over the Netherlands, they also secure a spot in the European qualifying tournament for the RWC 2021.

Rugby Europe Women’s Championship final wrap

To start the day it was a horrible pre-match warm up session by the Spanish ladies. A team should not be allowed to make so many errors in a team run. Yet in a way, that is all the match seemed to turn out to be.

The Dutch ladies had about a minute of focused rugby at the start of the game, where they looked strong. Then, the Las Leonas ‘flicked the switch’ and ran in the first try after the Dutch fumbled, hospital passed and fumbled again.

A minute or so later, it also became clear the any scrum would only ever result in Spanish possession and/or penalties. From that very first scrum the Dutch were shoved backwards, even on their own ball. In the whole first half, the Dutch did not win a line out either. Poor to say the least, and it was 46-0 by half time.

From there, nothing was ever going to stop Spain from claiming their crown.

The Dutch did try. At the end of the first half they strung some phases together. They battered their way some 20 metres into Spanish territory, only for their captain to fall. Running into contact, Exeter Chiefs and Netherlands captain Linde van der Velden immediately upon contact screamed out and grasped her left collar bone. She was treated during halftime and tried to continue. Every contact on her left side seemed to hurt her more though, and she left her left shoulder hanging with almost everything she did. Some seven minutes into the second half, van der Velden was replaced.

With the Dutch restricting themselves almost solely to forwards battering and a few aimless kicks, the Spanish barely had to defend. And with their amazing off loading and the incredible versatility all around the park that made mincemeat of the Russians, they put their opponents to the sword.

With breaks that should have only been seen in Madrid during the Sevens tournament there, they racked up the scores in Guadalajara. Continuing Dutch mistakes, including dishearteningly from kick-offs, made their job even easier.

Las Leonas set the final score at 87-0!

Of note, this is the Spanish women’s eighth European title (since 1995).

Rightly crowned; Spain Rugby Europe Women’s Champions

With their championship now in the bag, they can get ready for the next task. They will face Ireland, Scotland, and Italy in the vital Rugby World Cup 2021 qualifying tournament.

These teams should all be able to give them a game of rugby. And those games will all provide an interesting clash of styles;

  • Ireland has a pretty set way of playing, with lots of structured play

  • Scotland is better at improvising but shine in their simple, but highly effective touch-style defence

  • Italy plays a more physical game. And Spain plays open, fast and loose.

With Spain now completing the set, that qualifying tournament will be a delicious entre before the main course of the 2021 World Cup.

 

“Main photo credit”
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