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England Sevens quartet review performance

06 May 2013

  • Vickerman, Edgerley, Mitchell and Norton on England's performance in Glasgow
  • Praise for character of side following wins over Fiji and Wales on second day

Photo: Getty Images

England beat Fiji 15-12, lost 24-17 to South Africa but then won 24-21 against Wales in the third-place play-off on day two of the Glasgow Sevens. On day one they were beaten 31-5 by New Zealand before securing a quarter final place with big wins against Scotland (29-7) and Portugal (46-0). The teams now head for the Marriott London Sevens, the final leg of this season’s HSBC Sevens World Series.

England Sevens captain Rob Vickerman:

“You could put [the performance] down to composure. It’s something we’ve got to make sure we back up next weekend. The Marriott London Sevens, our home leg, is going to be an amazing weekend and we’ve got to make sure we save our best to last.

“You don’t realise as an outsider how tough it is to dig those games out, turning round in an hour and 20 minutes, and we had three boys out [Tom Powell, Marcus Watson and Mat Turner], so it’s asking a lot of people who have already played five games, so credit to the guys. Playing a couple of home nations which always adds a bit of spice we really fronted up.”

Bristol-based wing Dan Norton, whose five tries in Glasgow took his tally to the season to 42, six clear of his nearest rival Cornal Hendricks (South Africa):

“From where we’ve been this season it’s nice to progress out of the group and we’ve had some good performances as well which is pleasing. We showed some of the potential we’ve had all year. The times we’ve lost we’ve made errors and South Africa just lived off them so if we cut those out and play our game we know we’ve got the beating of a lot of teams.

“It’s nice to finish on a high here and now we’re able to get some momentum and go hard for our last home tournament. It was nice to get a score against Wales. I was a bit sloppy when I ran into touch at one point but it’s nice to get some tries and for the team to win well as well, so it’s win-win.”

Photo: Getty Images

Centre Tom Mitchell returned to action after a five-month lay-off recovering from a broken ankle:

“I’m feeling pretty tired but when you’ve been injured it’s not bad to be thrown in the deep end. The only way to get match fit is to play some rugby. Hopefully the injuries we’ve sustained will be alright for next week and we’ll have more options. Personally I benefited from that.

“A lot of people say it’s hard to play third-fourth play-offs but maybe I’ve been blessed with a bit of perspective this year that I don’t see it as any harder to get up for. We’re in a fortunate position to have another game and try and correct some of the errors from the previous game. Every time we get the chance to go out and play rugby we’re blessed to be able to do that and take it with both hands. 

“We’ve certainly got a lot of positives to take from it and at some times we were really firing. We’re still making too many errors and letting teams into the game. We still need to be more clinical in attack and a lot tighter in defence. We missed too many tackles and let tries in too easily but third place here is good and hopefully we can better it in London.”

Half back Sam Edgerley came off the bench to win the play-off game against Wales with a try in the final seconds:

“John Brake did all the work and James Rodwell with him played to the space. It was at the end of the game and they were pretty stretched and I just followed up, I was fresh, it was good to get on and good to get a try.

“Right from the very off on day one, after getting a bit of a beating from New Zealand we could have put our heads down and caved in but we showed some character and came back hard against Scotland and Portugal.

“Likewise at the start of the Fiji game we went down and then came back, so I think we showed a lot of character. We didn’t take our foot off. We wanted that third place play-off and we didn’t go into it relaxed, we really wanted it so it was great to get a win.

“We’re feeling pretty confident, we’re pleased with our performance but we did make a few mistakes. We’re very close to being very, very good, so hopefully we can tidy up some of those errors and really have a good performance at Twickenham.”