Eng­land stay on course for sil­ver

The Rugby Paper - - World Sevens Series | Forthcoming Fixtures - ■ By NICK VERDIER

ENG­LAND fin­ished Day One un­beaten in Paris to set up a quar­ter-fi­nal clash against the USA this morn­ing.

With the World Se­ries end­ing at Twick­en­ham next week, South Africa have the se­ries crown wrapped up but Si­mon Amor’s men are des­per­ate to over­haul Fiji in the over­all stand­ings and fin­ish se­cond for the first time since 2006.

That year, Amor was part of the Eng­land side that won the 30th Hong Kong Sev­ens – and the coach was Mike Fri­day, who is now in charge of USA, who have hit form re­cently by reach­ing the fi­nal of the last tour­na­ment in Sin­ga­pore.

Eng­land saw off Spain (31-0) and France (24-5) but a 12-12 draw with Kenya pre­vented them from claim­ing a per­fect record.

“We put ev­ery­thing into the first two games to make sure we qual­i­fied,” said James Rod­well. “The boys are pretty happy with per­for­mances so we’ll get back to the ho­tel and as­sess things be­fore the quar­ters.”

Tak­ing on the hos­tile Parisian crowd head on, Eng­land se­cured their place in the last eight with a four-try win over France in their se­cond game.

A long-dis­tance try within the open­ing sec­onds from Tom Bowen calmed the crowd be­fore Dan Nor­ton made it 12-0 at the break. Ol­lie Lind­say-Hague added a third and skip­per Tom Mitchell fin­ished the job with a fourth.

Mitchell said: “I’ve played in France be­fore and you know you are al­ways go­ing to be up against a pas­sion­ate crowd but this was next level. It was an amaz­ing oc­ca­sion to be part of and I’m pleased we came out with the re­sult.”

Ear­lier, they dis­patched Spain with a five-try thump­ing. Cal­lum Sirker (2) sent them on their way and there was a try apiece for Dan Bibby, Nor­ton and Bowen.

Eng­landy could not make it three wins, how­ever, as tries from Ruar­idh McCon­nochie and Bibby were matched by Kenya for a draw in the fi­nal game.

For the fifth con­sec­u­tive tour­na­ment, Wales failed to make it out of the group stages as they went down to New Zealand and the USA in their open­ing two games.

Luke Mor­gan scored their only try against the Ki­wis who went over for four them­selves be­fore six Amer­i­can tries, in­clud­ing a brace from flier Perry Baker, got the bet­ter of Wales in their se­cond game de­spite a dou­ble from Lloyd Evans.

Wales fin­ished the day with a win as tries from Owen Jenk­ins (2), Sam Cross, Ben Roach, Ethan Davies, Billy McBryde and Lloyd Lewis helped them to a 47-28 win over Ar­gentina.

All their hopes will now fo­cus on the Chal­lenge Tro­phy, which they won in Sin­ga­pore, with a quar­ter­fi­nal against Spain this morn­ing.

The day started with two huge sur­prises in the open­ing round of games as Samoa stunned Fiji 19-17 while Scot­land beat Se­ries lead­ers South Africa 19-12.

The Scots backed it up against Canada, the win­ners of the Sin­ga­pore leg, and then de­feated Ja­pan to fin­ish the day on top of Pool A with a quar­ter-fi­nal clash with Fiji to come.

PIC­TURE: Getty Images

Reach­ing out: Tom Bowen stretches to score against France

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