Friday 8th December 2006
England cruise past the Portuguese with ease in South Africa
England put the disappointment of their opening day draw against Wales firmly behind them as they beat Portugal 58 5 in their second pool match in George. England scored ten tries and only conceded one in the match, including a hat trick for Worcester winger Marcel Garvey, and a try for debutant Charlie Amesbury (NEC Harlequins).
England had control of the whole match from the beginning and looked much more comfortable than in their earlier game. A fantastic run by Andy Vilk (Sale Sharks) put England in the lead before Garvey scored the first of his three, thanks to a great set up by captain Simon Amor (London Wasps).
Gloucesters Rob Thirlby added to his earlier try against Wales with two against Portugal and Englands dominance continued to the break with another for Garvey, ensuring England led 27 0 at the break.
Early in the second half Garvey secured his hat trick showing real glimpses of the outstanding play fans were treated to when he first burst onto the scene a couple of years ago. Englands seventh try went to former IRB Sevens Player of the Year Simon Amor, helped by some great work by James Haskell.
Substitutions meant that 21 year old Charlie Amesbury was awarded his first sevens cap as he replaced Thirlby, and within moments he had scored his first try for England. The final two tries went to 19 year old David Doherty of London Wasps, who added to his try of this morning to take his tournament tally to three.
With just seconds to go Portugal managed to sneak past the England defence to score a try but by then it was too little too late and England had ensured a decisive victory and perhaps more importantly, a major points difference.
England face Argentina next at 19.54 local (17.54 GMT).
Tries: Vilk, Garvey (3), Thirlby (2), Amor, Amesbury, Doherty (2)
Conversions: Gray, Amor (3)
Referee: James Jones (WAL)
Michael Hills (Sale Sharks), Andy Vilk (Sale Sharks), Simon Amor (London Wasps, Captain), Rob Thirlby (Gloucester), Marcel Garvey (Worcester), Danny Gray (Bristol), James Haskell (London Wasps).
Replacements: Charlie Amesbury (NEC Harlequins), David Doherty (London Wasps), Dominic Shabbo (London Irish).
Not used: Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Ben Gollings,
For more information and player interviews please contact Sally Price, England Sevens Media Manager on 07801 802 711.