- HSBC Paris Sevens runs from 8-10 April
- England Women into 5th place semi - more
- England Men through to Cup quarter-final
Despite conceding a try in overtime to register a 21-21 draw with USA in their final pool game of the HSBC Paris Sevens, England have made the Cup quarter-final, and will play Fiji on Sunday (9:13 BST).
Earlier in the day England scored four tries en route to a 28-21 victory over hosts France, followed by a 28-19 win against Argentina. Their draw with USA meant they finished second in Pool D on points difference.
Ollie Lindsay-Hague wasted no time in getting England on the scoreboard; from a penalty, the stand off took on the US defence before dropping a well-weighted kick in behind them, and collecting to dot down.
But it was short-lived, as Mike Friday's men went down the other end to score a try of their own, through Folau Niua, and the successful extras gave them a two point lead.
Phil Burgess proved the catalyst behind England's next score, making a crucial turnover at a breakdown, and quickly feeding Harry Glover who cantered in from 70 metres unopposed.
They could've had a third, as James Rodwell combined with Mitchell - only for the latter to spill over the line and injure himself simultaneously - forcing a substitution and remaining 14-7 at the break.
Ryan Olowofela crossed at the start of the second half, after linking with Dan Norton, and the successful Dan Bibby conversion made it 21-7.
A breakaway Madison Hughes converted try cut the gap to seven points, and was followed up by a yellow card for England's Charlie Hayter at the restart. The US opted for a lineout, and with a man advantage, scored in overtime via Kevon Williams.
Two from two
England started quickly against Argentina, as Glover sprinted out of his defensive line to intercept a hanging pass in the opening 20 seconds, cantering 70 metres, to give Mitchell the easiest of conversions.
Mitchell converted his own try minutes later, after hitting a hard line off Norton cutting in-field, and winning the foot race to the whitewash.
But undeterred, Los Pumas edged back into the game through tries from Marocs Maroni and Luciano Gonzalez on the stroke of half-time. One successful conversion giving England a two point lead.
Argentina poached an early second half score, Baza Valez noticing the ball was out at the back of an England ruck, and pouncing to swipe it up and sprint in.
But Norton put England back in the ascendancy with his 296th career try, after collecting a drilling Mitchell kick - and Olowofela extended that lead, showing neat footwork and exceptional acceleration to make it 28-19, and two wins from two.
Burgess strikes late
In their first game of the day, England scored straight from kick-off through Ollie Lindsay-Hague, who from inside his own 22, stepped the French defence to run unopposed to the line.
But France's response was immediate - getting one back courtesy of Kevin Bly to level the match at 7-7.
Spurred on by a partisan crowd, France surged deep into England territory, only for captain Mitchell to make a crucial intercept and unleash Phil Burgess up the right flank. He held up defenders before lifting an offload to Ethan Waddleton, who duly scored to give England a seven point cushion.
But France made sure the match would be level at the break, hitting back again via Paulin Riva to make it 14-14. And they took the lead for the first time at the restart, Tavite Veredamu breaking through the England defence to dot down under the posts.
But a moment of genius sparked by captain Mitchell gave England a momentum shift, as he jumped on a spilled France pass, breaking right and holding a defender up before flicking a pass inside for Olowofela to score.
And Simon Amor's men snatched the game from the hosts in the final 30 seconds, as Burgess cut a hard line and steamed onto a pass from Lindsay-Hague just five metres out, to barrel over and confirm a 28-21 win.
England Sevens captain Tom Mitchell: “It was an exciting day one in Paris – the crowd were amazing which made for a brilliant atmosphere. Game one against France was always going to be a tough one – they really came with a lot of intensity so it was good to come out of that with a win.
“The same level of effort was required against Argentina where we showed some exciting attacking play to get two from two. It was unfortunate to concede a last play score against the USA to secure a draw in the third game.
“There was a really good scrap throughout the day from the boys and some lovely attacking rugby. I’m really pleased with the effort and we’re looking forward to going again tomorrow.”
England Sevens squad for HSBC Paris Sevens:
Dan Bibby, Tom Bowen, Phil Burgess, Mike Ellery, Harry Glover, Charlie Hayter, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Tom Mitchell, Dan Norton, Ryan Olowofela, James Rodwell, Ethan Waddleton.
13th man: Will Edwards
England’s fixtures, Saturday 9 June (all times in BST):
Pool D - England 28-21 France
Pool D - England 28-19 Argentina
Pool D - England 21-21 USA
Cup quarter-final - England v Fiji (9:13)