After a weekend of dramatic twists and turns,
England emerged triumphant to be crowned Cup champions at the
Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens.
The English side rose from a
defeat to Portugal on day one of the competition to take the title
in a thrilling final against Samoa. England were first to put
points on the board, thanks to a try from Oliver Lyndsay-Hague,
who crossed the line again just before the break. Two successfully
converted tries from the Samoans, however, saw them going into half time
Samoa then managed to score just once
in the second half before England surged ahead to claim a 29-21
win - their first in Dubai since 2005.
"We dug ourselves
out of a great big hole and played really well. I'm delighted,"
said England coach Ben Ryan afterwards. "For whatever reason - whether the penny dropped or having their backs against
the wall, suddenly they started to listen and understand what we
were trying to do ... I didn't think we would win
anything after the Portugal game but I got all the guys together
last night and just said we need to make the most of our chances
and I felt really confident and relaxed today and just tried to
Samoan coach Stephen Betham, added, "Of course it is disappointing to lose in the final but I
think England deserved it in the end.. I'm very happy with how our
boys lifted their game. It's great progress for us."
England had earlier booked their spot in the final after a 19-14
victory over defending champions New Zealand in the semi-final,
while Samoa got the better of Fiji, winning 24-21 in another
closely contested semi.
Earlier in the day,
Commonwealth Games silver medallists Australia and 2008 Dubai
champions South Africa were knocked out of Cup contention at the
quarterfinal stage. Both lost out in the final minutes - South
Africa to Fiji by 21-19 and Australia to England 24-21.
South Africa went on to win the Plate competition, defeating
Australia 19-12 in the final, while Argentina won the Bowl with an
emphatic 21-0 victory over Zimbabwe and Kenya the Shield after
defeating France 26-0.
HD Videos from the 2010 Hong Kong Rugby Sevens
See other recent news regarding: