Late Glover score se­cures bronze medal for Eng­land

The Rugby Paper - - News - By ADAM EL­LIS

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.

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