England women have been knocked out of the main competition at the Rugby World Cup Sevens, losing 19-14 to Ireland.
The defeat means England now go into the Challenge competition, where they will face Mexico in the quarter-finals, with the winners of that tournament finishing 9th overall in San Francisco.
Ireland will play New Zealand in the Championship quarter-finals.
“We’re gutted. We didn’t come here to lose in our first game,” said England’s vice-captain Emily Scarratt.
Ireland took a narrow 7-5 half-time lead before Amee Murphy Crowe scored twice in two minutes after the break to extend their advantage.
James Bailey’s England side pulled a try back through Alex Matthews but left it too late to complete the comeback.
BBC 5 live rugby reporter Chris Jones said the result will be a “major disappointment for England and the Rugby Football Union, who channel resources into the sevens programme in between XV-a-side World Cups”.
Former England men’s sevens captain Rob Vickerman
This is a huge shock on paper and from a wider context as part-time Ireland have swept aside a fully professional England outfit.
In reality, Ireland’s progression in the series meant that this wasn’t a shock to those in the know. It was immense from Ireland, compounded by poor execution from England, and there will now be big questions over their sevens programme.