England Sevens lift second title of World Series campaign
Rugby

England Sevens lift second title of World Series campaign

13 March 2017 / 10:15

Tom Mitchell was full of praise for his side's character as England beat South Africa in the final of the Vancouver Sevens to seal their second victory of this season's World Rugby Sevens Series.

After beating New Zealand 14-12 in the quarter-finals and then Fiji 40-7 in the last four, England went up against the Blitzbokke in the showpiece.

The sides were level at the break with Siviwe Soyizwapi crossing inside 60 seconds, which Cecil Afrika converted, before Richard de Carpentier powered through the tackle of Rosko Specman on the right wing to stretch over on the stroke of half-time to bring the scores to 7-7.

Dan Bibby then showed a moment of class, Charlie Hayter initially breaking the line before Bibby chipped forward and touched down his own kick as Mitchell sent over his second conversion.

Dan Norton went over in the left-hand corner after superb hands from England released him to cross for his 244th try on the World Series, matching Kenya's Collins Injera as the all-time leading try scorer on the circuit.

Mitchell's conversion took the score to 19-7 and despite late pressure, England held on for victory meaning Simon Amor's side remains the only team to have beaten South Africa this season as they repeated their achievements from Cape Town.

"It feels awesome because we've worked so hard," said Mitchell, who captained Team GB to silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

"We played South Africa in the group stages, in a close game - they have been on top all year, it's an unbelievable record from them - so to come and beat them here in this amazing stadium with a phenomenal crowd, who have been a pleasure to play in front of, it is very special. 

"I'm so proud to be part of this group, every time the boys come back and just keep fighting."

Player of the final Norton added: "It's pretty surreal, it has been a long two days after backing up last week in Las Vegas. 

 "The boys have been incredible and we've all grafted so hard - as have the guys back home who have got us to this point. I'm humbled to be in this position."

Despite a disappointing first day in Vancouver, Scotland Sevens finished 13th after turning their fortunes around on day two.

After failing to record a victory in their pool, the Scots competed for the Challenge Trophy on Sunday, and despite being knocked out in the semi-finals, they still picked up valuable points to sit eighth in the overall table, as the Series travels to Hong Kong next month.

Sportsbeat 2017

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