Pulling The Flag

First win for women. Last 8 for men

It wasn’t a bad day at the office for the two GB teams at the European Championships.

Despite another narrow loss – this time to the Germans – the British men booked their place in the quarter finals, where they’ll play Group B winners Denmark at 7.30am UK time. For the women, the hard work over the last few days finally paid off, as they claimed their first win in an international tournament over Switzerland.

GB v Czech Rep (day one). Pic by Jimmy Thomson

GB v Czech Rep (day one). Pic by Jimmy Thomson

What it means

GB men’s final group game against Germany was a battle for third place in Group A, with the winner taking on Group B runners up France. GB’s loss keeps them in 4th, with 5th place Slovenia 30-26 losing to Italy in the late game. GB men ended their group campaign with a 3-3 record.

The quarter final field looks like this:

Austria v Spain

Italy v Israel

Germany v France

GB v Denmark

GB’s women will participate in a round robin between the 7th, 8th and 9th placed teams after finishing 8th in the table. They finished 1-1-6 in the league stage of the event. Their first round robin match will be against 7th placed Spain, who beat them 47-0 on opening day.

Pic by Jimmy Thomson

Pic by Jimmy Thomson

How it went down

In the morning game, GB’s women came out of the blocks hoping to land a body blow on the Italians, and were so very close to their first victory. Steph Warren was a touchdown threat once again with two scores and an extra point, while Sarah Wakelin got an XP and Kellie Barrett got an interception. It looked like Jennifer Cooper’s excellent TD grab could have won it for GB late on, but Italy regrouped and charged down the field to equalise in the final seconds. It ended GB 20 Italy 20.

However, the GB women weren’t to be denied, and got their first win in the very next game. While the winless Swiss kept it tight early on, the team found more offensive rhythm and some big defensive plays helped GB roll to a 35-12 victory. Sarah Wakelin got two TD, while Jennifer Cooper got into the endzone again and Steph Warren picked up a TD and an XP. Kellie Barrett’s pick six came at a crucial time for GB, and she also popped up for 2 XPs. Kellie, Sophie Jones and Becca Haw were among the interceptions, while Steph Warren, Millie Barrett, and Kellie Barrett (3) picked up sacks. 

The third match was more of a low-key affair, with the Danes picking up a 13-0 win. But the women’s team will be buzzing after a day in which they picked up 4 points out of a possible 9 on the international stage.

GB v Spain (day one). Pic by Jimmy Thomson

GB v Spain (day one). Pic by Jimmy Thomson

GB’s men were on slightly shaky ground going into Day Three, tied with Slovenia on the fringe of the knockout spots. However, a win against their 4th place rivals would pretty much put them over the line, and GB delivered with a 41-32 win that was more comfortable than the final score suggests. Kenny Bello was the scourge of Slovenia today, with three TDs and three XPs, while Tim Thomas picked up two scores and Michael Bradley-Banszki got a TD and an XP. Jamie Doak picked up an XP.

And – with that – GB could afford to look upwards, as their head-to-head record would put them above Slovenia even if they both finished 3-3. With France holding on against Spain to claim 2nd in Group B, a win over Germany would set up a cross-channel matchup. However, while the teams traded scores early on, Germany headed in at the half with a 19-12 lead. They extended that lead to 25-12 in the second half, leaving GB with a mountain to climb. As it happened, they closed the gap to 25-20 and had the ball mere yards from the German endzone in the dying seconds. But a blocked pass sealed the German win, and set up a tricky tie for GB agains the Danes.

Of course, that wasn’t what people were seeing at home…

Trolling the Flag

This is the story of why you should never leave a game to get a cup of tea.

It’s the second half, and it’s looking tricky out there for GB, who trail 25-12 but have the ball in their own half. They complete a routine-looking short pass. But what’s this?

As our intrepid reporter’s back is turned, the trap is sprung. The scoreboard operator cheekily awards GB eight points for that completion. Generous stuff.

Which means that when this happens…


FANTASTIC STUFF HERE IN SPAIN.GB men score two touchdowns to take the lead against Germany. Outstanding grab for the XP to make it 27-25. Can GB close this one out? #roar4gb

Posted by Pulling the Flag on Saturday, 19 September 2015

Posted by Pulling the Flag on Saturday, 19 September 2015

Germany fails to convert on their next series, and GB drive up the field, seemingly set on extending their lead in the last seconds. They fail. But haaaaang on. Germany seem disproportionately happy about that, don’t they?

The truth is revealed as the teams walk off the field, and PTF is left looking like the guy who predicted the segway would be the future of transport. We’re going to go off into a corner and cry now.

You can watch many of GB men and women’s group games using our playlist of the Euro livestreams below.

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