England Sevens return to form in Glasgow
May 4, 2013
England's Tom Mitchell is tackled by Portugal's Luis Sousa during their clash at the Scotstoun Stadium © Getty Images
England will make only their second Cup quarter-final appearance of the current HSBC Sevens World Series campaign in Glasgow on Sunday.
Ben Ryan' side, who have struggled to match their title-winning performance at the Wellington Sevens earlier this year, lost 31-5 to Series leaders and title favourites New Zealand in their opener at the Scotstoun Stadium earlier today but bounced back to beat hosts Scotland 29-7 and then thrash Portugal 47-0 to ensure they progressed to the last eight as the runners-up in Pool B.
Three tries in three games took England winger Dan Norton's 2012-13 tally to 40, overtaking Mat Turner's haul of 38 last year. No England player on a list including Ugo Monye and David Strettle has scored more tries in a single season. England's reward is a clash with Fiji who were one of four sides to remain unbeaten on the opening day of what is the penultimate event of the season.
Fiji opened their Pool C account with a 45-0 victory over Spain and followed that with 28-10 win against Argentina. The Fijians edged out Australia 19-17 in their final pool clash with Samisoni Viriviri scoring the crucial try. Argentina will join them in the quarter-finals thanks to their 17-10 victory over Australia and a 40-5 success against Spain with New Zealand awaiting them in the last eight.
Wales topped Pool D after winning all three of their matches, ending day one with a 28-22 win against Russia with Chris Knight scoring two of their four tries. Earlier in the day they had beaten France 22-14 before edging out the USA 26-21 with the latter booking a quarter-final berth with a 48-5 victory over Russia and a 21-14 win against France.
South Africa took out Pool A with a 100% record after impressively beating Samoa 27-0 in their final match with Justin Geduld scoring twice. They narrowly defeated Kenya 17-14 in their first match while Stephan Dippenaar broke Canadian hearts with a last-minute try to give them a 17-14 victory in their other clash having trailed 14-7.
However, they will be joined by Canada after the season's leading points scorer Nathan Hirayama scored a try in the final seconds of their 21-12 victory over Kenya to guarantee their place. Earlier they came from 17-0 down against Samoa to win 19-17 thanks to tries from Jeff Hassler, Sean Duke and captain Nanyak Dala in a fascinating comeback.
Cup quarter finals:
South Africa's Paul Delport dives over to score a try against Kenya © Getty Images
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter