Eng­land gate­crash South Africa’s sevens party

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Eng­land stunned South Africa 19-17 to win the Cape Town Sevens on Sun­day af­ter the hosts missed a last­gasp con­ver­sion.

Werner Kok scored a try in the fi­nal sec­onds while Eng­land were down to six men, but Justin Geduld couldn’t con­vert as Eng­land claimed a first World Se­ries win since Tokyo in 2015. “It was a tough tour­na­ment,” said Eng­land cap­tain Tom Mitchell, whose side fin­ished third at the sea­sonopen­ing Dubai Sevens last week­end, which South Africa won.

“We trained all sum­mer and this makes it all worth it. We were a bit dis­ap­pointed last week­end and we wanted to put it right. It’s been a bumpy road, but it al­ways is.”

Chris Dry out­paced Mitchell to the line for the first try of the match be­fore Richard de Car­pen­tier hit back to give Eng­land a 75 lead. Dan Nor­ton added an­other try for Eng­land for a 12-5 lead at the break. But Rosko Spec­man drew the Bl­itzboks level early in the sec­ond half be­fore man-of-the­match Ruar­idh McCon­nochie re­stored Eng­land’s lead.

In a tense fi­nale, Nor­ton was sin-binned in the last minute and Kok pounced to score in the cor­ner. How­ever, Geduld missed the tricky con­ver­sion to give Eng­land the win.

“We played well in Dubai and made the fi­nal in Cape Town, al­though we’re very dis­ap­pointed that we could not win this for the won­der­ful lo­cal sup­port­ers,” said South Africa coach Neil Pow­ell.

“We have won 11 of our 12 matches in the last two weeks and that is some­thing we are proud of and pleased about. We did not play well enough in the fi­nal though and Eng­land man­aged to close our space down.” South Africa made the fi­nal on Sun­day with a 14-7 win over New Zealand while Eng­land swept past Scot­land 33-14. Eng­land are now sec­ond in the World Se­ries stand­ings on 39 points, two be­hind South Africa.

Olympic and World Se­ries cham­pi­ons Fiji are third with 32 points while Scot­land and New Zealand have 27. The third leg of the tour­na­ment takes place in Welling­ton on Jan­uary 28-29. —AFP

MONT­PEL­LIER: Mont­pel­lier’s Fi­jian Ti­moci Na­gusa (L) runs with the ball next to Cas­tres’ Afusipa Tau­moepau dur­ing the Euro­pean rugby cham­pi­ons cup match be­tween Mont­pel­lier and Cas­tres on Sun­day at the Al­trad sta­dium in Mont­pel­lier, south­ern France. — AFP

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