The South African sevens side will have to wait one week before formalising their celebrations at winning the 2008/9 IRB World sevens series.
England won a superb final in sudden-death extra time against New Zealand 31-26 to claim the Emirates Airline London Sevens at Twickenham.
The Cup title is England’s first on home soil for five years and means that South Africa will have to wait another week before celebrating the IRB Sevens World Series title.
After England’s fine win, the second time they have beaten New Zealand to a Cup title this year, South Africa now lead them by 20 points in the race for the overall title. South Africa have 116, ahead of England (96), London Plate winners Fiji (82), New Zealand (80), Argentina (68) and Bowl winners Kenya (60).
Playing without injured captain DJ Forbes, New Zealand were nonetheless quickly into their stride in the final and scored three unanswered tries through Julian Savea (2) and Kurt Baker, leaving England with it all to do, 19-0 down at the half.
Ben Ryan’s side needed to score first after the break and did so through powerful replacement wing Uche Oduoza. Ben Gollings converted to make the score 19-7 and Micky Young’s neat score brought it to 19-12.
England capitalised on a period of sustained pressure to pull level, James Rodwell breaking through the defence to score under the posts, but Zar Lawrence capped a superb personal performance to pull the kiwis ahead again at 26-19.
With the seconds counting down New Zealand seemed to have both hands on the Cup but another replacement, 20-year-old Dan Norton streaked down the line and under the posts. Ben Gollings converted to pull England level again and the two points also took his own all-time Sevens tally to 2,000 points. More importantly, he ensured that the final would be decided by sudden-death extra time.
With the 36,000 strong crowd on the edge of its seat, England pressed deep into kiwi territory and when their forwards forced a scrum against the head half back Young sprinted to the corner to clinch a famous victory and spark jubilant scenes of celebration.
Earlier, New Zealand beat South Africa 10-5 in the Cup semis to postpone any World Series celebrations for the Boks. Solomon King and Kurt Baker scored the kiwis’ tries to Gio Aplon’s sole effort.
England overcame auld enemy Scotland 26-12 to reach the final, the Scots competing in their first ever IRB Sevens Cup semi. Ollie Phillips and Tom Biggs put them 14-0 up but Colin Gregor and John Houston hit back with tries to make it 14-12 at half time. England responded to the home crowd after the break, Greg Barden crossing for their third try and Ben Gollings turning in a magical try-scoring performance to cap the win.
Fiji beat proud Portugal to Plate
Fiji beat France and then blitzed Portugal with a superb first half performance to claim the London Plate with a clinical 24-10 win.
Nasoni Roko, Emosi Vucago, Orisi Sareki and Waqa Kotobalavu all crossed for first half tries as the Fijians started in irresistible form to build a 24-0 lead. Portugal fought back well in the second half, and denied the Fijians another scoring opportunity, but could only manage two of their own by Sebastiao da Cunha and Goncalo Foro.
The Fijians were in superb form to beat rejuvenated France in their semi, Pio Tuwai and Orisi Sareki each grabbing a brace of tries in a 35-19 win. Portugal earlier recovered from the disappointment of losing against Scotland in the Cup quarters, Aderito Esteves, Goncalo Foro and Diogo Mateus scoring the tries in their 19-10 win against Australia.
Kenya win Bowl trophy
Kenya won the London Bowl after beating World Cup-winners Wales 12-7 in a tight final. The Kenyans built a 12-0 half time lead with tries by brothers Collins Injera and Humphrey Kayange, the captain, and had to defend in the second half as Will Harries’ score brought the Welsh roaring back. Benjamin Ayimba’s team takes two more points towards their World Series tally, while Injera stretches his season tally to 35.
Amazingly the Bowl semis also featured the same four teams that contested the two Cup semi finals at the Rugby World Cup Sevens just two months ago, Kenya beating Samoa and Wales beating Argentina.
Canada beat USA to Shield
Canada built on a 10-0 half time lead to beat USA 27-7 and claim the Shield. Justin Mensah-Coker and Neil Meechan both crossed for tries in the first half and Ian Shoults set them well on their way after the break. Bryn Keys then scored their fourth before Steve St Pierre registered for the USA. Meechan’s second rounded off the scoring.
Earlier, two tries from Zach Pangelinan halped the USA to a 38-12 Shield semi final win against Georgia, and they now face staunch rivals Canada in the final. The Canadians used all of their fighting qualities to beat off the growing challenge of Germany 26-24, Ian Shoults crossing for two tries.Tweet