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England face Wales in Dubai Sevens quarter finals

29 November 2013

  • Impressive 11-try tally in victories against Canada and USA 
  • Fiji hang on in 26-21 thriller and both sides go into last eight

ENGLAND will face Wales in the quarter finals of the Dubai Sevens after being beaten 26-21 by Fiji in their last Pool C game.

They cruised to impressive victories against Canada (47-7) and the USA (28-7) at the start of the second leg of this season’s HSBC Sevens World Series.

Mike Ellery with Phil Burgess and Tom Powell in support 

Photo: Getty Images

But a couple of defensive lapses saw Fiji open up a 26-7 lead and despite Mike Ellery’s two-try heroics they ran out of time to strike again despite being roared on by more than 40,000 fans in the desert stadium.

The result means they take a Wales side that beat Australia, Scotland and Spain in Pool B today, with a semi final place against South Africa or Kenya on the line.

“There’s lots of good stuff that happened today and you can’t just reflect on the last game,” said Head Coach Simon Amor.

“There are lots of positives to pick up on but we do need to sharpen up a little bit defensively and a little bit on our decision-making and execution in attack.”

England – winners here in 2010 and 2011 – looked confident and organised under new boss Simon Amor with all 12 squad members given starts in the first two matches.

Marcus Watson on the attack against Canada 

Photo: Getty Images

Against Canada, Ellery emulated sister Megan – a try scorer for England Women here – and the rest of the scores were touched down by Phil Burgess, Dan Bibby, Tom Mitchell, James Rodwell, Dan Norton and Jeff Williams. Bibby’s kicking was close to perfect and he added six conversions.

Alex Gray then scored his first try at this level against the USA with Rodwell, Marcus Watson and Mitchell also striking.

The final game of the day was a thrilling high-tempo affair against a Fiji side now coached by former England boss Ben Ryan.

The sides traded tries early on through Samisoni Viriviri and Rodwell but Fiji pulled away with a combination of defensive misses and sublime offloading putting Emosi Mulevoro, Donasio Ratubuli and Benito Masilevu over for scores with four minutes still to play.

Back came England, though, with Ellery twice storming through the middle. Edgerley and Mitchell added rapid conversions and they got their hands on the ball again inside the last minute without being able to create a decisive opening.