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Amor optimistic after England finish fourth at Dubai Sevens

30 November 2013

  • Marcus Watson's hat-trick wraps up quarter final win over Wales in Dubai
  • Defeats against South Africa and New Zealand see England finish fourth

James Rodwell scored England's opening try against Wales

Photo: Getty Images

England finished fourth at the Dubai Sevens after Tim Mikkelson’s late try clinched a 17-14 play-off win for New Zealand.

Simon Amor’s team beat Wales 33-12 but they went down 26-12 at the semi final stage to South Africa before going down against the HSBC Sevens World Series champions.

The result leaves England fourth in the overall standings and Amor was in optimistic mood as the team prepared to head for South Africa Sevens in Port Elizabeth on December 7-8.

“There were some real positives – a lot of our tackling was the best I’ve seen – but some of our decision making was not great and that can punish you at the highest level of sevens,” said Amor. “Now the foundations are in place in our defence, though, we’ve got a lot of other good stuff to work on.

“South Africa was a very frustrating game. We did a lot of good stuff but we didn’t play the breakdown particularly well and South Africa are very good there. It’s the next part of our game to look at.”

England trailed 12-0 in the first half of the play-off before Sam Edgerley and Phil Burgess struck either side of half time only for Mikkelson to get away 20 seconds from time.

Earlier Marcus Watson had scored a hat-trick of tries in the big win over Wales at the quarter final stage.

James Davies and Ashley Evans replied but England pulled away in the second half with Burgess and Mat Turner also touching down.

Tries from Mike Ellery and Mitchell kept England in touch against South Africa in the semi but late strikes from Werner Kok and Chris Dry ended their title hopes.

Former England Under 20 wing Watson’s work with Mike Ellery in the backline was underlined by Amor after they scored four tries apiece over the weekend.

Amor said: “Marcus Watson was in outstanding form today and his partnership with Mike Ellery worked very well with his [Ellery’s] physicality.

“Mike was a bit fatigued at the end after making a lot of carries throughout the weekend but what you want as a coach is a lot of people putting their hands up and performing well and that’s what we’ve got.”


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