Lydia Thompson helps England to Commonwealth bronze
Lydia Thompson crossed for a try to help England’s women’s 7s team complete their Rio redemption on Sunday as they took bronze in the Commonwealth Games.
Stourbridge’s Thompson may not have been in that Olympic squad that were pipped by Canada in the bronze-medal match two summers ago – but the majority of her teammates were.
So when fate conspired to match the two teams up again on the Gold Coast in the third-place play-off – there was plenty to play for.
But this time it was England who emerged victorious – thanks to a fast start with tries from Thompson, Claire Allan, Penzance's Deborah Fleming and Jess Breach that opened up a 24-5 lead.
They had to hold on in the end as Canada roared back, but the 24-19 final scoreline left Thompson delighted.
“It's surreal at the moment but it means the world. As a group of girls, I couldn't be prouder of the journey we have come on. It's the cherry on top of a huge iceberg of emotions,” said the 26-year-old.
“There's been so much work from everyone. We can't credit the people back at home enough. What you see out here on the pitch is the result of a lot of hard work from everyone. The girls back at home made that possible as much as the staff and the girls who finished on the pitch.
“As a rugby player, it's an amazing feeling, you just love playing rugby and it's a great feeling to have the bronze.
“They did look like they were coming back but it was great to be able to hold on and make sure we got the win.”
England’s hopes of a gold-medal match were crushed on Sunday morning in the Robina Stadium as the eventual champions New Zealand handed them a 26-5 defeat.
But Thompson and co showed admirable character and will now switch their focus to the World Cup in San Francisco this summer and bridging the gap to newly-crowned Commonwealth champions New Zealand and Olympic champions Australia.
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