Sevens World Series: England finish third in front of Twickenham crowd
Seven World Series: England end the HSBC Sevens World Series with a third-place finish at Twickenham
England ended the HSBC Sevens World Series with a third-place finish in front of their home support in the final round at Twickenham.
Simon Amor’s side bounced back from the disappointment of losing in the Cup semi-final to Australia in controversial fashion to defeat Fiji 26-19 and secure fourth place in the World Series standings.
We’ve made a lot of changes but the group are growing and it sets up nicely for the Commonwealth Games
Tries from James Rodwell, Howard Packman, Tom Mitchell and Mat Turner saw England put in their most impressive performance on day two as HQ set a record crowd in Sevens rugby with 112,487 fans attending the tournament over two days.
“The guys wanted so desperately to connect with the crowd, sometimes we tried too hard. We’re a fourth-place team at the moment,” said Amor.
“We’ve made a lot of changes but the group are growing and it sets up nicely for the Commonwealth Games.”
In their semi-final, England conceded three tries through Con Foley and two from Cameron Clark as Australia built a 15-0 lead, but Mitchell got one back early in the second half and, with two seconds left on the clock, Dan Norton touched down under the posts.
Captain Mitchell refused to take the conversion to give themselves one last chance to steal the win, but the referee blew for full-time before the restart could be taken.
England head coach Amor was visibly incensed with the referee, shouting “it’s in the rules” to the referee before storming off down the tunnel.
Former referee Paddy O’Brien, now an IRB referee co-ordinator on the Sevens circuit, later confirmed that the players needed to relay to the referee their intentions before the clock reached zero, but there didn’t appear to be any urgency from Norton, who walked under the posts to dot down and made no effort to sprint back to the half-way line with the ball.
“The crowd here have been amazing all weekend long and the guys wanted so desperately to really connect with the crowd and show how much it meant,” Amor said the semi-final defeat.
“Sometimes we just tried too hard and particularly in the Australia game we got our game plan all wrong and there was a bit of fuzziness in the head, but it was all about trying to do the shirt justice and you can’t fault guys when they do that.”
England will now prepare for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July where New Zealand are once again the nation to beat as they defend their 100 per cent record of securing Gold since rugby was added to the Games in 1998.