- Phil Burgess hat-trick illuminates final win over Portugal
- England build towards Commonwealth Games with third successive title
Photo: RFU Archive
England defeated Portugal 47-12 to win the Moscow Sevens for the third successive time and take the lead in the FIRA- AER European Grand Prix Series.
A Phil Burgess hat-trick and tries for Mike Ellery, newcomer Charlie Hayter, captain Tom Mitchell and James Rodwell saw Simon Amor’s side complete a positive weekend.
England, going for glory at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this July, beat the previous day’s opponents France 28-7 in the quarter final and Georgia 33-5 in the semi final.
While pleased with contribution of a number of new players and injury returnees ahead of selection for the Commonwealth Games, head coach Amor said there was still plenty of room for improvement.
Photo: Getty Images
“In parts it showed that this squad hasn’t played together for some weeks,” he said. “It took a while to get into our stride but some of our play was very positive. We got a lot of things right in the final in terms of our attack but there is still a lot to work on.
“I was particularly pleased with Mike Ellery and John Brake, who due to injury haven’t played much rugby for a long time, and also with the contributions of Mark Bright and Charlie Hayter.
“The competition has allowed us to give players game time, try different combinations ahead of the Commonwealth Games and provided the guys with a chance to fight for those places.”
With two rounds of the series to play in Manchester (September 13-14) and Bucharest (September 20-21), England now sit at the top of the standings.
On day one, Georgia took the initial lead in England’s first pool match but after Rodwell caught the ball off the line out and charged over the line, tries followed for Burgess, Bright and Tom Powell.
France, FIRA-AER Grand Prix round one champions, were dismissed by five-try England – Rodwell, Mitchell, Burgess, Brake and Dan Norton touching down– but progressed into the quarters as the strongest third place finishers across the three pools. England topped the group and finished day one with a clean sheet against Romania.
Moscow Sevens results
England 22 Georgia 14
Tries: Rodwell, Burgess, Bright, Powell
England 35 France 12
Tries: Rodwell, Mitchell, Burgess, Brake, Norton
Cons: Mitchell x4, Lewis-Pratt
England 45 Romania 0
Tries: Norton, Powell, Lewis-Pratt, Mitchell, Brake, Hayter x 2
Cons: Lewis-Pratt x 3, Mitchell x 2
Quarter Final: England 28 France 7
Tries: Norton, Burgess, Rodwell, Bright
Cons: Lewis-Pratt x 4
Semi Final: England 33 Georgia 5
Tries: Rodwell, Norton x 2, Lewis-Pratt, Ellery
Cons: Lewis-Pratt x 2, Mitchell, Norton
Final: England 47 Portugal 12
Tries: Ellery, Rodwell, Burgess x 3, Mitchell, Hayter
Cons: Bibby x 2, Lewis-Pratt x 3, Mitchell
FIRA-AER European Grand Prix Series
Lyon (June 7-8) won by France
Moscow (June 28-29) won by England
Manchester (September 13-14)
Bucharest (September 20-21)
England Sevens squad for Moscow
Dan Bibby, John Brake, Mark Bright, Phil Burgess, Mike Ellery, Charlie Hayter, Christian Lewis-Pratt, Tom Mitchell, Dan Norton, Tom Powell, James Rodwell, Mat Turner