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England Boks-ed in by Juries

30 November 2007

England Boks-ed in by Juries

Today has been a roller coaster ride for the England young guns as they leave this evening's Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens with a win, draw and a loss against Tunisia, Canada and South Africa.

England started their last match well with a first try in the second minute by Anthony Elliott (Bristol Rugby) his third of the day, Ben Foden failing to convert kept the score at 0 5. It was then South Africa's turn, try machine Fabian Juries scoring his first of three tries in the third minute, South Africa converted and were well into their stride scoring another try three minutes later, this time by Mpho Mbiyozo, the Boks failed to convert and the scoreboard at the break was 12 5.

South Africa dominated the second half, Juries scoring his second try but not converting before he was sent off with a yellow card for killing the ball, England's replacement Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby) was handed a short pass from John Brake (Northampton Brake) to come back at South Africa with his first try of the tournament, with no conversion the scoreline sat at 17 10 to the Boks. England fought to the end but it was not to be, Juries had returned from the sin bin to score his third try of the match but failing to convert.

England's coach Ben Ryan said, "We've got to come out tomorrow and give it everything. When we get things right we get them right but it just didn't happen for us. We need some consistency on our breakdown because it's been slightly different in every game we've played, we need to reassess our shape, both Canada and South Africa have scored against us on the outside and we need to cut down on turnovers.

"We haven't really got out of second gear we have stuttered a little, we have shown some spark, we started well against South Africa and Canada. I thought Jack Adams (Gloucester Rugby), Ben Foden (Sale Sharks) and Tom Guest (Harlequins) had some good touches today.

"We're in the Cup Quarter Final against Samoa, if we can keep the ball and play how we want to play then we have a good chance. Samoa are a really good side and if we loose the ball then they can be deadly.

The fans today have been great and very supportive and I know the players will be disappointed that they didn't come away with the win but at the end of the day we're in the eight, we set an objective of the semi-finals and we're one game away from that, we will get an early night tonight and hopefully perform tomorrow."

England play Samoa tomorrow (1 December) at 11.52 (local time GMT + 4)

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

South Africa:
Mpho Mbiyozo, Neil Powell, Renfred Dazel, Jonathan Mokuena, Fabian Juries, Danwel Demas, M J Mentz
Replacements: Baldwin McBean, Frankie Horn, Vuyo Zangqa, Schalk van der Merwe, Mzwandile Stick

Referee: James Jones (WALES)

For further information on England Sevens go to