England off to unbeaten start in Tokyo
March 22, 2014
Marcus Watson scored two tries in England's win over Scotland © Getty Images
England got the Tokyo leg of their IRB Sevens World Series campaign off to a thunderous start on Saturday, booking a Cup quarter-final opposite Canada after winning all three of their pool matches.
Simon Amor's side opened their Pool D account with back-to-back victories over Scotland and Spain, who fell 36-0 and 29-0, respectively, but it was a 24-21 beating of Australia which rounded off their day in such promising fashion.
Current top points scorer Tom Mitchell was an essential part of England's attack in those first two fixtures, scoring a hat-trick of tries against the Spanish, but it was a Phil Burgess brace that paved the way to victory over the Australians, currently sat in fifth, just one place below England in the World Series table.
Despite that loss, Australia advance from the pool and set up a cup quarter-final against table leaders New Zealand, who are hoping to win back-to-back honours of this kind, having been triumphant in Wellington last month. South Africa and Fiji also managed to go unbeaten in Pools B and C, respectively, sealing their quarter-final berths opposite the United States and Kenya.
Failing to break into the top two of their pools, Wales and Scotland won just two matches between them on Saturday and will face Spain and Portugal, respectively, in their pursuit of Tokyo's bowl. Joining them in that hunt are Samoa and hosts Japan, making up the other bowl quarter-final, while Argentina will face France.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin