- Watson scores twice as England beat Samoa in quarter finals
- New Zealand and Fiji hit back to restrict Amor's men on day two
ENGLAND finished fourth in Wellington after a dramatic final day at the fifth leg of this season’s HSBC Sevens World Series.
Photo: Getty Images
Head Coach Simon Amor’s injury-hit side – unbeaten on day one – produced one of their best performances of the season to see off Samoa 21-5 in the quarter finals.
But they lost two men to the sin bin and went down 31-0 to New Zealand in the semis before a late try for Fiji saw them beaten 14-7 in the play-off.
The 15 points gained sees England ranked fourth in the series standings behind New Zealand, who beat second-placed South Africa 21-0 in the final, and third-placed Fiji. Legs six and seven of the series take place in Tokyo and Hong Kong next month.
England, who had beaten Wales 21-7, Portugal 36-7 and South Africa 19-5 in the pool stages, went into day two without injured duo Mike Ellery and Dan Norton.
They had lost to Samoa in the previous leg of the series and trailed in the first half to a Fale So’oialo try but Marcus Watson and Phil Burgess struck early in the second half. Watson’s late second score made sure of the win with captain Tom Mitchell adding three conversions.
England pinned New Zealand back early on in the semi final but lost both Dan Bibby and Mitchell to the sin bin during the first half and trailed 19-0 at the break as a result with Ben Lam, Sherwin Stowers and Scott Curry touching down.
Any thoughts of a revival were effectively ended by Bryce Heem’s try three minutes into the second half and Akira Iaone scored New Zealand’s fifth on the hooter.
The third-place play-off was a thriller with England busy in defence before Benito Masilevu put Fiji 7-0 up on the stroke of half time.
James Rodwell – playing his 48th World Series tournament – levelled the scores only for Fiji to conjure up the winner for Semi Kunatani at the death.
Elsewhere, Scotland’s Alex Glashan scored a hat-trick of tries as they beat Wales 28-0 in the second tier Bowl semi-final before the Scots were beaten 24-14 by Kenya in the Bowl final