England kick off campaign with bronze in Dubai
ENGLAND won the bronze medal in Dubai in the opening leg of the World Sevens Series after beating Fiji in their final game.
After winning Pool B on day one with three wins from three, Simon Amor's side faced Australia in the last eight and progressed with a 26-19 win. Despite Ruaridh McConnochie’s early score they lost narrowly 14-5 against the Kiwis in the semifinal, but recovered to beat the Fijians 28-21.
Tom Bowen’s hitch kick and burst of pace put England ahead after 40 seconds but Fiji responded to level and then take the lead when Vatemo Ravouvou intercepted Will Edwards’ pass.
England’s running lines and offloading saw Phil Burgess stroll in before Tom Mitchell’s introduction to the game as a replacement sent McConnochie through as five tries were scored in the first seven minutes, but England had the edge 21-14.
Bowen grabbed his second before Josua Vakurunabili’s interception got Fiji to within one score but England held out.
In the semi-final, England were up early against New Zealand after a try from McConnochie. New Zealand went ahead ahead when Joseva Ravouvou crossed out wide. An enthralling end-to-end game broke out before Ravouvou’s second clinched it.
Ravouvou’s second try sent them through to the the final, where they lost to current World Series champiENGLAND ons South Africa 24-12.
Philip Snyman, Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith ran in tries for a 19-0 lead while New Zealand's Joseava Rovouvou was in the sin-bin.
Rosko Specman was sent to the bin in the first minute of the second half and New Zealand hit back with btries from Andrew Knewstubb and Scott Curry for 19-1, but Tim Agaba put the match beyond doubt in the final minute.