- Consolation scores for Norton and Barrell in quarter final defeat
- England lose grip on second place after setback against Fiji
Photo: Getty Images
England’s sevens campaign ended with second day defeats against New Zealand and Fiji at the Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens.
Head coach Ben Ryan’s side had gone into the final two tournaments of this season’s HSBC Sevens World Series with an outside chance of capturing a first-ever global title.
They couldn’t collect a single series point in London and the six points picked up in Edinburgh means they finish in third place overall, South Africa overtaking them in the finishing straight.
England went down 26-12 in the Cup quarter final against New Zealand with Frank Halai’s hat-trick of tries and their own errors giving them too much ground to make up. Then they missed tackles against Fiji, who pulled away to win the Plate semi final 34-19.
In the quarter final England conceded a try to David Raikuna inside 15 seconds when New Zealand claimed the kick-off; lost the ball on their own throw at a lineout with Halai bumping past Norton to score; then lost the next restart too, Halai stepping back inside for a simple second to go 19-0 down inside four minutes.
When they did get hold of the ball, England were patient and effective and challenged New Zealand around the ruck with Barrell bursting inside and running in from half way.
New Zealand scored first in the second half when Halai completed his hat-trick, England responding with newcomer Richard de Carpentier involved down the right before Norton struck for his 32nd try of the campaign.
England Students No.8 De Carpentier was rewarded with his first start in the Plate semi final against Fiji as Ryan made changes.
Again, missed tackles allowed the Islanders to go 17-0 up with two tries from Joeli Lutumailagi and a Dale Tonawai effort.
England hit back through De Carpentier, London Irish wing Marcus Watson and Nick Royle and the momentum was with them at 22-19 down only for more defensive errors to let in Mitieli Nacagilvevu and David Batiratu.