Big win over Bl­itzbokke makes up for early slip

The Rugby Paper - - World Sev­ens Se­ries - ■ By NICK VERDIER

ENG­LAND saved their best un­til last with a stun­ning win over South Africa send­ing them to the Cup quar­ter-fi­nals of the Sin­ga­pore Sev­ens.

Si­mon Amor’s men had their backs against the wall 14 min­utes into the tour­na­ment fol­low­ing a shock 24-14 de­feat to France in their open­ing game.

They made up for it with a 40-10 thump­ing of Japan, who did them a big favour by beat­ing France in their last game.

Eng­land went into their last game against the se­ries lead­ers know­ing they would be through even if they lost by 19 points but they did far more than that.

They went on to claim their fourth win over the Bl­itzbokke as tries from Char­lie Hayter, Tom Bowen and Dan Norton sealed a 1712 win.

The win even sent them top of pool B and they face Kenya in the quar­ter-fi­nals this morn­ing rather than Australia, who will take on South Africa.

“It’s an amaz­ing feel­ing to get a win over the Spring­boks,” said play­maker Dan Bibby. “It was im­por­tant for us to start build­ing as we were rusty against France. It was a must-win game if we were to top the pool.

“The boys worked so hard, I’m so proud of them. I’m so proud of the way they bounced back from that first game.”

Ol­lie Lind­say-Hague and Ruar­idh McCon­nochie crossed for Eng­land in their open­ing game but France hit back with three of their own to cause the first up­set of the day.

Forced to re­act, Eng­land left noth­ing to chance in their sec­ond out­ing as tries from Bibby, Dan Norton, Tom Bowen, Cal­lum Sirker and a brace from McConnoghie made for an im­pres­sive win over Japan.

Wales will play Rus­sia in the Chal­lenge Trophy quar­ter-fi­nals af­ter two de­feats in their three games saw them fin­ish third in pool D.

Ben Roach, Mor­gan Williams and Owen Lane all scored in their open­ing game against the USA but five tries, in­clud­ing a brace from Perry Baker, handed Mike Fri­day’s men a 35-19 win.

Hav­ing to beat New Zealand in their sec­ond game, Ethan Davies kept them in the match with a try to trail only 14-7 at half­time – but four more tries for the Ki­wis against one from Sam Cross sealed Wales’ fate in the tour­na­ment.

De­spite that nar­row de­feat, they ral­lied to win their fi­nal pool game against Scot­land 21-19, thanks to tries from Luke Tre­harne, Luke Mor­gan and Billy McBryde.

Proud man: Eng­land play­maker Dan Bibby

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