London Sevens woe for England
May 21, 2011
Dan Norton was in fine form against the USA © Getty Images
A record-breaking crowd at Twickenham was left largely disappointed after England failed to secure a place in the Cup quarter-finals of the London Sevens on Saturday.
England opened their campaign with a 31-21 win over the United States, with Dan Norton helping himself to a hat-trick. However, they then slumped to a shock 21-14 defeat to France, much to the disappointment of the majority of the 54,357 fans in attendance. That left England needing to beat Argentina in their final game to secure a place in the Cup quarters but they could only manage a 12-12 draw, thus allowing the South Americans to progress in their place.
Wales did progress from Pool A, though. Although they were beaten by IRB Sevens World Series leaders New Zealand, victories over Spain and Kenya saw them through. Scotland, meanwhile, finished bottom of Pool C after suffering defeats to Australia, Canada and Samoa.
Elsewhere, Fiji pipped South Africa to top spot in Pool D courtesy of a 12-7 win over the Springboks.
The attendance represented the one positive for England as it was the largest crowd to assemble on the opening day for an IRB Sevens World Series event. Rugby Football Union (RFU) business operations director Paul Vaughan said: "The first-day record is a testimony to the booming global popularity of sevens. We hope a good second day will take a sevens weekend past the 100,000 mark for the first time, which would be a magnificent achievement."
London Sevens Cup quarter-finals:
New Zealand v Argentina
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers
Martin Gillingham looks at the state of play in the Top 14 and gives his take on the club versus country battle harming the prospects of the French side
Manu Tuilagi, Cockerill's psychological warfare and Saracens' brute strength - it is the Monday Maul