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Hong Kong day 3: England regroup after final defeat

27 March 2011

  • Gollings urges side to bounce back after Hong Kong setback
  • New Zealand hold five-point lead going into finishing straight

England Sevens captain Ben Gollings urged his side to bounce straight back after going down 29-17 against New Zealand in the final of the Cathay Pacific Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens.

England saw off Russia 10-7 and Samoa 19-14 in the knock-out stages to reach a fourth final in five HSBC Sevens World Series events this season.

Mathew Turner, Bristol wing Dan Norton and Royal Navy forward Greg Barden scored tries for England but Frank Halai's brace either side of half time opened up an unassailable lead for the Kiwis.

Head coach Ben Ryan and captain Ben Gollings

Photo: Getty Images

New Zealand pick up 30 points for the tournament win and England 25 in what is turning into a two-horse race for the title with three events remaining.

The teams head to Adelaide (April 2-3) before the series arrives in Europe for the Emirates Airline London and Edinburgh tournaments (May 21-22 and 28-29).

Gollings said: "It wasn't our day. We played well up until the final and never really got out of the starting blocks. We do all the hard work and then don't bring it out - sometimes it takes time to learn how to play finals.

"There was a lot of pressure on us to reach the final and we've done that. We're still close to New Zealand and we've got our home tournament to come and Adelaide next week so it's all to play for.

"I've said to the guys 'it hurts, remember how it feels and put it out there next week'. Now we've got start turning these finals into wins."

Earlier England edged past fast improving Russia thanks to tries from Barden and Turner before going on to beat defending champions Samoa in the last four.

Gollings cancelled out Uale Mai's early try and Norton struck after the interval before Chris Cracknell's decisive score sealed victory.

England head coach Ben Ryan added: "We had the goods to come up with a win but we just couldn't get the job done. There were some key moments we didn't take advantage of in the final and New Zealand did."