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Norton sets try record as England Sevens reach quarter finals

04 May 2013

  • England beat Scotland and Portugal to reach last eight
  • Wing takes tally to 40 for the season to set new mark
Dan Norton

Photo: Martin Seras Lima

Dan Norton set a new England Sevens try-scoring record as he helped them book a quarter final place at the Glasgow Sevens.

The Bristol-based wing touched down in his side’s 31-5 defeat at the hands of New Zealand then opened the scoring in the 29-7 win over Scotland and the 46-0 victory against Portugal.

It took his 2012-13 tally to 40 in total, overtaking Mat Turner’s haul of 38 last year. No England player on a list including Ugo Monye and David Strettle has scored more tries in a single season.

HSBC Sevens World Series leaders New Zealand took advantage in the opening match as England missed chances and tackles to run up a 31-0 lead with tries shared by Gillies Kaka, Scott Curry, Ben Lam, Sherwin Stowers and Kurt Baker before Norton’s late consolation.

Scotland were battling to stay out of the relegation play-off zone – their mission being to outperform closest rivals the USA – and beating England would have earned them a place in the quarter finals.

But Norton got England on the board straight away and Jeff Williams added two tries, the second after James Rodwell’s burst and offload.

England Sevens forward Jeff Williams

Photo: Martin Seras Lima

Scott Riddell responded for Scotland to keep them in it but Marcus Watson struck for England immediately after the break with a long diagonal run and Christian Lewis-Pratt completed the job with his interception effort.

Portugal had beaten England earlier this season but they were overwhelmed as Watson (2) and Norton scored in the first half.

Mike Ellery scored twice after the interval with Williams and Lewis-Pratt also touching down before Norton cruised through and generously put Rodwell in under the posts.

Also in the quarter finals are the USA - which means Scotland, Spain and Portugal will drop into the eight-team play-off for places on next season's series that is staged at Twickenham next weekend.

Head coach Ben Ryan said: "We made half a dozen line breaks against New Zealand and only scored from one of them. It was flat and I don’t know why that was. We lost momentum at the start and couldn’t recover it. We gifted them a lot.

"So it’s good that we bounced back so well from that. Scotland are a good side and I hope they survive in the play-offs but we were good against them, very clinical and very professional.

"We took the game to the opposition after the first game, got a little bit more physical, a bit more angry, and now we’re looking forward to tomorrow – we’re in a quarter final and want to go a lot further."