Late Glover score secures bronze medal for England
ENGLAND fought their way to a bronze medal finish in Dubai in leg one of the World Series to overcome the frustration of their semi-final exit to a staunch New Zealand defensive effort.
Simon Amor’s side gave themselves a shot at making the final after hitting top gear to beat South Africa 22-5 in the semifianal, captain Tom Mitchell proving a thorn in the champion’s side with two tries while Phil Burgess and Tom Bowen were also on the scoresheet in an emphatic victory.
The result went some way to regathering momentum after the pool defeat to Australia.
Dan Norton reached the 300-try milestone on day one and commended his teammates for bouncing back against the Blitzboks.
“With the loss against Australia, we knew we were going to be up against it against a strong South African team,” said the England speedster.
“I thought the boys did an amazing effort; day two is always hard and the effort and endeavour to hold in there against strong teams is what we’ve been working on.”
On hitting 300 tries on the circuit, Norton added: “It’s an amazing feeling, and awesome to have my Dad here. I have had a whole pre-season to think about it and it’s nice to get it over and done with.”
Despite laying siege to the Kiwis on their 5m line, England couldn’t find a way through and a slender 7-5 defeat set up a third-place play-off against Australia.
Australia led 14-5 at half- time through John Porch and Lachie Anderson tries, with Will Muir scoring for England. Amor’s side regrouped at the break and he threw Norton, Alex Davis and Harry Glover into the fray.
Those tactical adjustments worked as Mike Ellery surged down the right wing to reduce the deficit to 14-10.
Mitchell was again the heartbeat of the team as he wrestled England into Australia territory and, after drawing in defenders, allowed Glover the space to score the third try and wrap up the bronze medal with a 15-14 comeback win.
New Zealand met USA in tournament finale, hoping to end a nine-year wait for a win in Dubai – and they did just that as tries from Tone Ng Shiu, Dylan Collier and Ngarohi McGarvey Blackclinched a 21-5 victory.
USA had beaten Wales in the Pool and saw off Fiji and Australia en route to the final.