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Tune is right for England in Dubai

30 November 2007


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)



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