England players celebrate winning the Vancouver Sevens
England players celebrate winning the Vancouver Sevens DARRYL DYCK

England blitz Boks to take Vancouver Sevens crown

ENGLAND has defeated World Series Sevens leaders South Africa 19-7 to take out the Vancouver Sevens.

The Blitzbokke had won the previous three tour stages and four out of five to start the 2016/17 series, but for the second time this year fell to England.

An ecstatic England captain Tom Mitchell paid tribute to his side's attitude after toppling the series leaders.

"It feels awesome (to have won) because we've worked hard," Mitchell said.

"To beat South Africa - we played them in the groups as well and drew in a close game - and this team, the South Africa team, have been on top all year, unbelievable record from them, so to come and beat them here in what is an amazing stadium, the crowd's been phenomenal, it's a pleasure to play in front of them."

South Africa took the early lead against England, as Siviwe Soyizwapi crossed virtually untouched from close range after Rosko Specman made a break.

But England fought their way back in the first half and finished level at 7-all after Richard de Carpentier scored and Mitchell's sideline conversion.

Dan Bibby then put England in front midway through the second half, kicking ahead after seeing space behind the defence.

Tryscoring machine Dan Norton then put the result beyond doubt, as he crossed untouched.

South Africa went close to scoring, but a hamstring injury to a runaway Specman saw him crash to the crowd.

The 12-point win saw England move ahead of Fiji into second in the World Series standings on 103 points, but they still have a lot of ground to make-up on South Africa (126).

Australia, meanwhile, had a disappointing second day of action losing both games, which saw it slip to sixth on the standings.

The Aussies finished seventh after being kept scoreless against New Zealand, who won 21-nil to cap a frustrating day.

Earlier, Andy Friend's team lost 28-10 in the quarter-finals against Fiji.

Nick Malouf put the Aussies in front, but after going up five-nil they conceded 28 straight points.

Friend lamented his side's wasted chances and was disappointed to finish seventh after encouraging performances in Sydney and Las Vegas, where the team finished fourth.

"Both games today were similar in that we created opportunities but in those key moments of execution we weren't able to finish it off," Friend said.

"It's very frustrating that this is where we are at as a team at the moment, so we just need to keep working hard and make sure we get better than that.

"We would have liked to have gone better here in Canada, to give us the confidence going into Hong Kong.

"After a good showing in Sydney and a better showing in Vegas, I was hoping we'd go better this weekend so it is disappointing."

Australia will return home to begin their preparation for the Hong Kong Sevens, which kicks off on April 7th.

News Corp Australia


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