- England fall in final after dramatic weekend of action in Glasgow Sevens
- Ryan 'very proud' as England turn on style against South Africa and Fiji
England’s exciting run of victories at the Glasgow Sevens ended in a 29-14 defeat at the hands of HSBC Sevens World Series leaders New Zealand.
James Rodwell and Dan Norton scored tries to haul Ben Ryan’s side back to within five points midway through high-quality second half.
But Lote Raikabula scored the clincher after England were penalised at the breakdown and DJ Forbes grabbed his second of the match in the dying seconds to put New Zealand within touching distance of another title.
Photo: Getty Images
England now head for home and the Marriott London Sevens aiming to finish on a high in the final event of the series next weekend at Twickenham.
They finished the Glasgow event with five wins out of six and impressed on day two by beating South Africa 19-14 and Fiji 26-21 in the knock-out stages to climb to third in the overall table.
Mat Turner continued his prolific try-scoring run by taking his tournament tally to eight by touching down twice in both the quarter and semi final.
Norton leads the overall series try table with 35 and Turner is second with 33 with New Zealand’s Frank Halai and Tomasi Cama back on 28.
Head Coach Ryan said: “We’ve not quite got to grips with beating New Zealand on a regular basis this year.
“We’ve probably given them the hardest run any team has but we won’t settle for anything other than dominating this series and I was pleased with the direction of travel we’ve been on in the last two days.
“It’s the first time probably that we’ve really seen what we’re putting into effect in training come out in our attacking play and we played some sensational stuff in the style I want England to play for a long time to come. It’s a disappointed group but they’re determined to go out to the Marriott London Sevens and win the tournament.
“I’m very proud of this group and they are all going to be around together for a long time to come. We’re going to hit lots of finals, we’re going to win lots of tournaments and perhaps this is the start of what’s going to be a great chapter.”
Turner’s brace and Norton’s chip-and-chase effort secured the win against South Africa, who rallied with Cornal Hendricks and Franco du Preez touching down.
The semi final against Fiji was a thriller with Turner, Tom Mitchell and Rob Vickerman scoring and the scores locked at 21-21 when Mitchell missed a long-range penalty on the hooter.
But the Islanders weren’t given a sniff of the ball in sudden-death extra time as England patiently created the opening for Turner’s run to the line.
On the opening day England had booked their passage to the quarter finals by beating Kenya (40-7), USA (19-12) and Tokyo champions Australia (19-14) on day one at the new Scottish venue.