Big win over Blitzbokke makes up for early slip
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