Captain Mitchell leads England Sevens to Cape Town glory

Captain Mitchell leads England Sevens to Cape Town glory

12 December 2016 / 10:28

England Sevens captain Tom Mitchell insists he could not be prouder of his teammates after leading them to the Cape Town Sevens title, on Sunday.

England defeated South Africa 19-17 to land their first World Series tournament victory since the Tokyo Sevens last year, but had to come from behind to triumph over the Blitzboks.

Having conquered Olympic champions Fiji and Scotland en route to the final, it was South Africa who got on the scoresheet first on home soil, Chris Dry finishing off a well-worked move from halfway to cross over in the corner.

But England hit back immediately when Richard de Carpentier received the ball from Dan Bibby, allowing him to charge down the field before scoring under the posts, with Mitchell – who captained Team GB to silver at Rio 2016 - converting from the tee to give his side the lead.

Dan Norton then dotted down on the wing for his 225th career try to ensure England went into the break with a 12-5 advantage.

The Blitzboks soon levelled after the break however through Rosko Specman, before England replied with a scrum ten metres from the line, which allowed Ruaridgh McConnochie to touch down on the left flank, before Mitchell made no mistake from the tee.

Werner Kok scored for the hosts with just 15 seconds remaining after Norton was shown the yellow card for a high tackle, but after Justin Geduld was unable to add the extras, England held on to their lead to lift the trophy.

“It has been a hell of a tough tournament. I am so proud of the boys. It was an amazing effort, we trained so hard over the summer and this moment makes it all worth it,” Mitchell said.

“We were a bit disappointed last weekend with some of our performances so we really wanted to put that right and it’s been a bit of a bumpy road, sevens usually is, but to turn out like that against a very strong South Africa side in front of an amazing crowd, was amazing. It has been a pleasure to play in this stadium. 

“We are very fortunate that we get a lot of support around the world and it means a lot to us, we are really proud to have the fans supporting us and we just want to do them proud in return.

“Thank you very much to everyone who turned out or watched back home.”

Sportsbeat 2016

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