Spain women copy men and take last Olympic rugby 7s berth
DUBLIN (AP) The Spain women's rugby sevens team followed its men into the Rio de Janeiro Olympics by winning the last qualifying spot in Dublin on Sunday.
A week after the men earned their spot in Monaco, the women beat Russia 19-12 in the final.
''I'm really, really happy for the team - we are the happiest girls in the world at the moment because now we get to go to the biggest sporting stage of them all in Rio,'' Spain playmaker Patricia Garcia said. ''It's an incredible feeling. Our men qualifying last week has been the inspiration for us all week. We took their example with the teamwork we showed. I am pretty emotional but with smiles, not tears.''
The Spaniards reached the final without conceding a point, while Russia got there by allowing only two tries, both of them to host Ireland in the semifinals.
The final befit the top two seeds, who have honed their skills on the rugby sevens world series for four years.
Spain playmaker Patricia Garcia scored the first two tries, and Russia replied just before halftime, with Daria Babkova scoring from her own half to trail 14-7.
Barbara Pla crossed for Spain to breathe a little easier, but Bobkova scored again to cut the gap to seven points with three minutes to go. The Spaniards robbed those minutes of any tension by tying up Russia deep inside its own half.