28 May 2004
Rob Thirlby picked up a hat-trick of tries as England defeated Spain 36-12 at the Emirates Airline Bordeaux Sevens.
The Penzance-Newlyn flyer also set up the opening try to Pat Sanderson and others to score were Ben Gollings and Ugo Monye. Gollings (2) and Henry Paul added conversions.
Monye, Gollings and Richard Haughton displayed their outstanding pace and Paul was influential in midfield. By resting captain Simon Amor and Geoff Appleford, coach Mike Friday has given all 12 members of the squad match time in the opening two ties.
However, Spain deserved their two tries - to Javier Canosa and Jorge Prieto - and applied pressure on occasions.
Ugo Monye was yellow-carded for a high tackle late in the match.
England's final match today is against Australia at 19:44 UK time. Australia has defeated Spain 45-5 and Kenya 28-15
Earlier on today England recorded a comfortable 31-5 victory over Kenya in their opening match of the Emirates Airline Bordeaux Sevens
Going into the tournament Mike Friday's team are on their own just six points adrift of world champion New Zealand. South Africa has had 32 points deducted for fielding an ineligible player in tournaments at Dubai (which they won) and George last December, though an appeal is likely.
England were forced to defend for much of the first half before Ugo Monye raced away for the opening score. Ben Gollings, top scorer in the 2003-04 season, converted for a 7-0 lead.
From the kickoff, Phil Dowson burst through for England's second and Gollings made it 14-0.
On the stroke of halftime captain Simon Amor scampered in for a 19-0 margin at the break.
England started the second half patchily and Benjamin Ayimba put Kenya on the board. But England recovered and Gollings raced in for his 27th try of the series before substitute Richard Haughton sealed the victory.
Gollings converted to make the final score 31-5.
See England go for IRB Sevens glory at the Emirates Airline London Sevens, Twickenham, June 5th - 6th.
Will England successfully defend their 2003 Emirates Airline London title and finish 2004 as the IRB Series champions? Save it for Twickenham. Call Ticketmaster 0870 902 0000 or visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk (Booking fees apply). Adults: �10-�16 Saturday, �10-�26 Sunday