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Dan Norton strikes to reach 100-try landmark for England

08 December 2012

  • Wing adds four tries to tally on first day at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
  • Scotland put to the sword but England now face Bowl date with Spain

Dan Norton scored his 100th career try for England as they cruised to victory against Scotland at the end of a tough opening day at the South Africa Sevens.

Dan Norton has reached the 100-try mark for England 

Photo: Getty Images

Norton's touchdowns couldn't prevent England being beaten 29-19 by Fiji and 24-7 by New Zealand in the third leg of this season's HSBC Sevens World Series.

But they recovered by piling up a 33-12 win over Scotland in their last Pool B with two more scores for the former Gloucester and Bristol wing taking him to the century mark.

Only Ben Gollings (220), Richard Haughton (106) and Rob Thirlby lie ahead of him on the country's all-time list.

Norton admitted the landmark would have been sweeter if it had guaranteed a quarter final place after England missed out on the last eight. They now face Spain in the Bowl competition on Day Two

Norton said: "I'm happy to get my 100th try but I would have liked it different circumstances. At the moment we're fighting to get out of our group and it's pretty frustrating how the last three tournaments have gone for us.

"We've put in a lot of effort but we're missing that final pass and that final one per cent."

The draw for the South Africa Sevens in Port Elizabeth had thrust England into a difficult pool with current series champions New Zealand and last season's runners-up Fiji plus a resurgent Scotland side.

England trailed Fiji 17-7 at half-time - Marcus Watson scoring just before the interval - with Norton and Dan Bibby scoring late against the Islanders.

They didn't see much of the ball against New Zealand, DJ Forbes, Lote Raikabula and Tomasi Cama putting the All Blacks Sevens side 19-0 up early in the second half.

Norton got England on the board and they were pressing in the final minutes only for a breakaway effort from Tim Mikkelson to finish them off.

They trailed to Scotland - surprise winners over Fiji earlier in day - after Andrew Turnbull and Michael Maltman established a 12-0 lead.

But the second half was one-way traffic. Tom Powell and Bibby struck quickly before Norton grabbed No.99 for a 19-12 lead.

He then set up James Rodwell for England's fourth before swooping in for try No.100.

England Sevens captain Rob Vickerman

Photo: Martin Seras Lima

The intensity England displayed in the final game set a benchmark for the second day, according to captain Rob Vickerman.

"We weren't far away against Fiji, I know they're very tough opponents, and similarly against New Zealand you need to be on the money," said Vickerman.

"For parts of the game we were but for parts we weren't and it's a cruel game. But we really stepped up against Scotland after a ropey start.

"Intensity was the key word in that one. We were scoring, running back for kick-offs, collectively our heart rates were up around 95-99 per cent in that game. It's about putting the emphasis on how hard we can work and that is now a benchmark."