- Edgerley and Lewis-Pratt strike late to clinch wins over Wales and Fiji
- England generate momentum heading into Marriott London Sevens
Photo: Getty Images
England staged a dramatic comeback to beat Wales 24-21 and finish third at the Glasgow Sevens, the penultimate leg of this season's HSBC Sevens World Series.
Half back Sam Edgerley’s try after the hooter clinched victory after England had trailed 21-7 to scores from Chris Knight, Alex Walker and Rhys Sherrard.
James Rodwell’s two tries kept England in it, Dan Norton pounced for his 42nd of the season and Edgerley came off the bench to reward a performance full of character.
"It was at the end of the game and they were pretty stretched and I just followed up, I was fresh, and it was good to get on and good to get a try," said Edgerley.
"We showed a lot of character. We didn’t take our foot off. We really wanted that third place play-off so it was great to get a win."
That tenacity was on view earlier, too, as Christian Lewis-Pratt landed the penalty that secured a15-12 quarter final win against Fiji in sudden-death extra time. They went close in the semi final before Cornal Hendricks struck to earn South Africa a 24-17 victory.
The Blitzbokke went on to beat New Zealand 28-21 in the final but not before Gordon Tietjens’s men had sewn up an 11th series title. They take an unassailable 29-point lead to next weekend’s Marriott London Sevens.
England Head Coach Ben Ryan was pleased with the character his side showed to keep going despite resting Tom Powell, Mat Turner and Marcus Watson with knocks at the end of day two.
Ryan said: “That was excellent against Wales. We worked really hard to come back there because it was a mountain to climb. We had nine fit out of 12 too but I’m pleased we’ve got some momentum going into next weekend.
“We can get a lot better. In the South Africa semi final we just made three or four unforced errors that gave them the game. I thought we’d get through it but it wasn’t to be. The players have done well this weekend and we need to keep building on this.”
Photo: Getty Images
In the semi final, South Africa had raced into a 15-5 lead with Seabelo Senatla twice evading midfield tacklers to get away before Chris Dry pounced on a loose ball for another breakaway score.
John Brake had struck in the first half and touched down his second after the break following a Dan Norton effort that made it 19-17 going into the last two minutes.
England had the ball but were beaten at the breakdown and Hendricks galloped away to make sure.
Earlier, England were rewarded for bottling up Fiji for long spells. Tries from Brake and Tom Mitchell gave them the lead before the second of Joji Raqamate’s scores levelled the match.
The Fijians cracked in extra time, finally conceding a penalty for holding on with Lewis-Pratt stepping up to clip over the winning drop goal.
“It was a terrific game and we were pretty clinical,” added Ryan. “There were times we could have got another couple of scores but the team is growing."
Earlier New Zealand had made sure of their series win by beating Argentina 42-10 in the quarter final stages, then saw of an impressive Wales side who had advanced courtesy of a 26-7 win against Canada.