England claim Dubai Sevens crown
December 3, 2011
Dan Norton celebrates England's Dubai Sevens victory © Getty Images
Mat Turner struck twice as England beat France 29-12 to claim the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens title at The Sevens stadium.
Turner, who was crowned player of the tournament, touched down twice following tries from Isoa Damu and Dan Norton to give England a 24-7 half-time lead. Renaud Delmas scoring France's try.
Delmas scored again after the break but England held firm in defence and Rob Vickerman crossed in the dying seconds to cap an impressive win, which lifts England to second in the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Fiji top the standings, seven ahead of England, while New Zealand, France and South Africa, lie three points adrift of England ahead of round 3 in Port Elizabeth next weekend.
England coach Ben Ryan said: "It is fantastic. We wanted to win and we got there. I feel very lucky that we have the crowd on our side, it seems to work for us. I was so thrilled with the guys performances.
"It does feel easier here because the supporters here are very very positive, and there is a party atmosphere. There is no huge expectations except for defending our title and I am so thrilled to have done so after a disappointing last week."
England reached the final after thrilling wins over New Zealand and Fiji in the quarter and semi finals. Isoa Damu touched down twice while Turner scored once as Ryan's men beat Fiji 19-12, with Dan Norton pulling off a crucial last-minute tackle on Osea Kolinisau to claim the win.
They had earlier knocked out the dangerous New Zealanders, 10-7. Tomasi Cama had given the Kiwis a 7-0 lead but tries from Turner and Norton stole the victory. France had reached the final after overcoming Argentina in the semis and South Africa in the quarter finals.
Lewis Holland scored with the last play of the game as Australia beat South Africa 17-14 in the Plate final while Scotland took the Bowl final after a 26-0 victory over USA and Samoa defeated Kenya to lift the Shield.
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