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England Sevens cruise into semi finals in South Africa

11 December 2004

Saturday 11th December 2004

England cruised to victory in their quarter final match against Tunisia on the second day of the Emirates Airline South Africa Sevens, beating them 52-0.  England now face Fiji in the semi final in George.

England's best performance in this year's IRB Sevens to date saw strong performances from the whole team and particular strength in defence.  First half tries from Paul Sampson (Worcester Warriors), Ollie Phillips (2) (Newcastle Falcons) and Ben Gollings proved that England were the much stronger side and three successful conversions from Gollings meant that England had a comfortable lead going into the break.

In the second half Geoff Appleford (London Irish) and Rob Thirlby (Penzance & Newlyn) replaced Horstman and Sampson and there were more tries from Starling, Gollings, Richards and Phillips.

England seemed to outclass the Tunisian opposition and certainly looked in good form as they now prepare for a tough semi final match against Fiji.  England made the most of all the opportunities presented to them, handling the ball extremely well at all times. It was a great performance by Ollie Phillips who scored a hat trick and a much stronger performance by Gollings.

Fiji qualified for the semi final with a score in extra time in their quarter final against Samoa. New Zealand beat Kenya (36-0) and will face Argentina in the other semi final.  Argentina reached the semi finals having upset the home team South Africa 22-12.

England:
Ben Gollings, Kai Horstman (NEC Harlequins), Ollie Phillips (Newcastle Falcons), Peter Richards (London Wasps), Anthony Roques Captain (London Irish), Paul Sampson (Worcester Warriors), Neil Starling (Northampton Saints).
Reps: Geoff Appleford (London Irish), Rob Thirlby (Penzance & Newlyn)
Reps not used: Mathew Tait (Newcastle Falcons)

Scorers:
Tries - Gollings (2), Starling, Richards, Phillips (3), Sampson
Conversions - Gollings (6)

Tunisia:
From - Khaled Zegdene, Yousri Soukir, Slah Blaqui, Mohamed Ali Naouali, Sabeur Charrada, Kais Issa, Lofti Nino, Mejdi Frikha Houj Bouhlel Baligh. Majdie Guirat, Amir Hadidene