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Canada mount challenge to England

30 November 2007

Friday 30 November 2007

Canada mount challenge to England

England 24 Canada 24

It's not often in rugby sevens that you get a draw but this afternoon as the sun went down on the Exiles Stadium, England and Canada drew 24 all in a highly entertaining match. At one stage it looked as though England would end triumphant but within three minutes during the second half Canada scored three tries to put the teams level.

England had a shaky start conceding a try in the second minute of the first half but soon found their pace with John Brake (Northampton Saints) and Jack Adams (Gloucester Rugby) scoring their first tries of the tournament within quick succession of each other, Ben Foden (Sale Sharks) went on to convert one of them making the score 12 5 to England at the break.

In the second half England came out with energy, Isoa Damudamu scoring his third try of the day within 11 seconds, the conversion was out of range for Foden leaving the scoreline 17 5, within two minutes of Damudamu's try Jack Adams went in for his second of the match scoring a great try after outrunning Canada, Foden went on to convert and the scoreline rose for England 24 5.

However, fortunes changed when Bath's Matt Banahan was sent off with a yellow card for time wasting and Canada took their chances to hit back with a triple try frenzy within three minutes of the final whistle, converting two and dashing England's hope of victory.

England play South Africa at 7.56pm (local time GMT + 4) with a place in the quarter finals at stake.

*New sevens caps


Andy Vilk (Sale Sharks), Isoa Damudamu (Newbury Blues), Jack Adams (Gloucester Rugby), Tom Guest (Harlequins), John Brake (Northampton Saints), Ben Foden (Sale Sharks), Liam Gibson (Plymouth Albion),
Replacements: Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), *Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers), *Joe Simpson (London Wasps)

Referee: James Jones

For further information on England Sevens go to



Friday 30 November 2007

Tune is right for England in Dubai

England 27 Tunisia 12

England's young pretenders got off to a good start in the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens this afternoon beating Tunisia 27 12. Despite a nervous start, England played well, scoring five tries with three players earning their first caps for England Sevens.

Newbury Blues illusive back row player, Isoa Damudamu was first to the try line quickly followed by Bristol Rugby's Anthony Elliott, Ben Foden (Sale Sharks) converted the first try of the day but couldn't get into his rhythm and failed to convert the other four tries. It was Tunisia's turn two minutes later as they weaved through England's defence to score their first try and conversion of the match. England were not finished though, finishing before the break with another try, this time by comeback king Simon Hunt (Ebbw Vale).

It was Tunisia who came back fighting in the second half scoring a try in the second minute but failed to convert. England found their feet in the form of Anthony Elliott who scored his second try of the match followed by Isoa Damudamu with his second.

Coach Ben Ryan said, "I think the first game in any tournament is always hard, this is the first game of the IRB World Sevens Series and it's important to get a win and get the players game time and learn from your mistakes.

"The boys stuck to their framework, we got some speed, some guys came out from the defensive framework and made decisions and that's what we want to do, we have a framework but if the players are confident enough and want to come out of that framework then they should do, Banahan and Elliott both did that. The disappointing thing was that we conceded two soft tries.

"Tunisia is a good side and if you're not on the ball they will drag you down. We scored five tries so it gives us a good starting point, it's good to have the win under our belts."

England play Canada at 5pm (local time GMT + 4)

*New caps


Andy Vilk (Sale Sharks), Isoa Damudamu (Newbury Blues), *Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), Anthony Elliott (Bristol Rugby), Jack Adams (Gloucester Rugby), Simon Hunt (Ebbw Vale)
Replacements: *Tom Guest (Harlequins), John Brake (Northampton Saints), *Liam Gibson (Plymouth Albion)


Referee: Carlo Damasco (ITA)