- England restore pride on day two in Port Elizabeth
- Wins over Scotland and USA followed by final thriller
Photo: Getty Images
England lifted the Bowl title at the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens after reeling off wins over Scotland, the USA and Australia on day two in Port Elizabeth.
An opening day defeat to Argentina meant England were unable to reach the Cup quarter finals with a ninth-place finish and eight points towards their HSBC Sevens World Series tally all that was on offer.
But they responded by beating Scotland 19-7, the USA 33-14 and Australia 28-19 and will continue their rebuilding under new Head Coach Simon Amor on the run in to legs four and five of the series in Las Vegas (January 24-26) and Wellington (February 7-8).
South Africa lifted the title at their home tournament coming from behind to beat New Zealand 17-14 with captain Kyle Brown scoring the match-winning try.
England stay fourth in the overall standings with 40 points, trailing New Zealand, South Africa and Fiji (48).
“Our performance on day one was disappointing and we didn’t meet the standards we’d set in the first two legs but I’m pleased with the courage shown by the players after that to grind out three decent results,” said Amor.
The Bowl final was a thriller with England twice coming from behind. Despite tries from Jeff Williams and Phil Burgess they trailed 19-14 inside the final three minutes only for Tom Mitchell to get away for his third of the day and Mat Turner made sure with his fifth of the weekend and 91st career Series try.
Earlier in the day, England had trailed early on against Scotland to a Lee Jones strike but Burgess levelled before half time, Mitchell struck early in the second half and substitute Dan Norton made sure of victory two minutes from time.
Mitchell, Dan Bibby and Williams all struck in the first half against the USA and Turner’s two second half efforts put England out of sight despite a pair of consolation tries from wing Carlin Isles.
On day one, England went down 24-14 to Samoa then beat Zimbabwe 35-7 before being edged out by the Pumas.
They led 19-14 inside the final 30 seconds only for Argentina to hack the ball through for Agustin Cortes to grab the decisive try.