England trump Samoa to win Dubai Sevens - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

England trump Samoa to win Dubai Sevens

By Luke Phillips 05/12/2010 01:39:23 PM Comments (0)

England produced two late tries to trump Samoa 29-21 and win the Dubai Sevens on Saturday, the first tournament of the eight-leg IRB Sevens World Series.

The English team's performance in the final mirrored a day of action in which they had twice come up with last-gasp scores to defeat New Zealand and Australia in thrilling style, in the semis and quarter-finals respectively.

"It's been the story of the weekend," England captain Ben Gollings said of his team's rearguard action.

"We bounced back well and I couldn't be more proud of the boys."

Australia responded from their loss to England to beat Wales 26-12, but fell 19-12 in the Plate Final against South Africa to finish the tournament with four wins from six games and eight championship points.

Rookie winger John Grant made a promising start to his international Sevens career, scoring nine tries at his debut tournament to finish as the second highest try-scorer at the event, behind Springboks star Cecil Africa.

Africa caused all sorts of trouble for the young Australians as he scored a hat-trick of tries in the Plate Final to lift South Africa to a seven point victory and reverse their 19-14 defeat from day one.

Australian coach Michael O'Connor, who blooded seven rookies at the event, said he can see his team improving with each match.

"I thought the boys did well for their first tournament, they played a good brand of Sevens and gave consistent performances," O'Connor said.

"We were very unlucky to lose to England and a lack of experience really let us down. There were seven seconds on the clock and a wrong decision and lack of experience really cost us.

"They're pretty disappointed but they'll learn a lot from it, but for a first hit-out I'm reasonably happy.

"Heading to South Africa, we'll need to really work on our restarts, they just weren't good enough and that area of the game is so important, the top teams are really excelling at it."

England coach Ben Ryan praised his team for being "relaxed and ruthless" but warned that they had to remain humble despite the overall tournament victory, their first in Dubai since 2005.

"I hesitate to say it's the perfect start but it's a win," Ryan said.

"We can't forget that potentially we were going into the bowl (final) but we got a chance."

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