Great Britain’s hopes of sealing rugby sevens qualification for Rio 2016 were dealt a huge boost as England clinched a 21-14 victory over South Africa in the Tokyo Sevens final.
With a spot at next summer’s Olympics dependent on England’s performances, Simon Amor’s side moved into the fourth qualifying spot and ahead of Australia in the standings.
England saw off France 10-0 in the quarter finals before taking down Canada 14-5 to set up a final clash with the Blitzbokke.
Tries from Charlie Hayter, Tom Mitchell and Phil Burgess were enough to take victory and there are now just two legs remaining – in Glasgow and Twickenham.
And Amor admitted that he was delighted with his team’s efforts – even if their triumph wasn’t the prettiest at times.
“I’m incredibly proud of the players, the boys have worked so hard these last few weeks and we are measuring ourselves on effort and attitude,” he said.
“It wasn’t pretty rugby this week from a lot of teams but we carried on grafting and I’m incredibly proud of them.
“We are trying to be better than we were last year and a key goal for us was to win a tournament and we have done that now.
“We haven’t quite done as well in previous tournaments and we have had a lot of injuries that have disrupted our preparations.
“But the way they fought and got that win was great and it’s great for us to build on going forward.
“The Twickenham Sevens is going to be a fantastic event and great climax to a great series but once again I’m just so proud of the players because they have worked so hard and deserve it.”
Scotland meanwhile started their final day in Japan with a 22-0 defeat against South Africa but recovered well to see of hosts Japan 14-5 and book their spot in the plate final.
But they came unstuck against New Zealand and eventually fell to a 14-21 defeat.
© Sportsbeat 2015