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England into quarter-finals at Wellington Sevens

07 February 2014

  • Try number 150 for Norton on good day one for England
  • Win over South Africa sets up rematch against Samoa
Dan Norton scored try number 150 for England

Photo: Getty Images

England beat South Africa 19-5, Wales 21-7 and Portugal 36-7 to book a quarter-final place at the Wellington Sevens in New Zealand.

The clean sweep added up to the best first-day tournament performance of the season in the HSBC Sevens World Series. Simon Amor’s side now take on Samoa in the knock-out stages with the winners going forward to meet New Zealand or Canada in the semis.

Captain Tom Mitchell touched down twice against South Africa either side of James Rodwell’s 60th career try for England following impressive work from England’s forwards.

Amor said: “James Rodwell’s been outstanding today, Phil Burgess hasn’t played many tournaments but he’s done well and we’re getting better overall. Samoa beat us at the last tournament in Las Vegas so we’ll need to step up again against them next time round.”

James Rodwell

Photo: Getty Images

England opened their account with a fluent 36-7 win against Portugal with Dan Norton’s two tries leading the way. Mitchell, Burgess, Jeff Williams and Tom Powell also touched down.

The 21-7 win against Wales was tighter, with Mike Ellery’s early score cancelled out by Rhys Jones before Mitchell and Norton – with his 150th career try – struck to make sure of the win late in the second half.

The full quarter-final line-up sees England take on Samoa, hosts New Zealand play Canada, Australia play South Africa and Fiji versus Argentina.