England Sevens finished fifth at HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Vancouver after beating Australia in the fifth place final.
After finishing top of their pool on the opening day, England faced Kenya on the artificial surface at BC Palace but were trailing at the break and could not make a breakthrough in the second-half as they lost 0-12 and exited the cup quarter-final.
Three converted tries was enough to beat New Zealand as England went ahead through 19-year-old Ryan Olowofela and never let go of the lead in a 21-17 win.
The day ended with success for England as they beat the Aussies 31-14 to secure fifth place in Canada.
After a frantic start to the game, England made the breakthrough when the ball fell kindly to captain Tom Mitchell and he raced away for an easy score.
Some fine defensive work by Dan Norton then saw England work it upfield where Dan Bibby crossed, before Jesse Parahi got Australia up and running just before half-time.
Harry Glover's direct running restored the two-score advantage with his first try of the weekend, before Mitchell's weighted grubber allowed Dan Norton to gather and dot down.
James Rodwell's neat offload saw Charlie Hayter race down the wing for England's fifth, before John Porch crossed for a consolation Aussie try with the last play.
“This now gives us great confidence going into the Commonwealth Games having beaten two outstanding teams like New Zealand and Australia,” said head of England Sevens Simon Amor.
“This tournament has highlighted that if we’re not on our game and we get some of the detail in our contact area wrong, then we’re going to lose matches, and that’s what happened against Kenya and Samoa. Those are massive areas that we need to keep on working on to improve.”
“It’s really important not only for this season but also going forward to have people like Ryan Olowofela, Harry Glover and Will Edwards who were outstanding against New Zealand. They’re exciting, young and talented players who are performing at the highest level of sevens to crowds of 40,000 people.”
A number of players came into the starting seven for the fifth place semi-final, including Ryan Olowofela who got the opening score, as he was able to stroll in under the posts following Ollie Lindsay-Hague's step and break through the line.
Scott Curry's try got the Kiwis on the board despite some superb defensive cover work by Will Edwards, in for the injured Ethan Waddleton.
Edwards then showed his skills in attack as with time dead in the first half, he jinked off his right foot to run in from just over the halfway line for a 14-5 lead.
New Zealand captain Curry got his side's second, but England responded immediately as Ruaridh McConnochie rounded off a slick move from deep inside their own half.
Joe Ravouvou's try with 90 seconds remaining meant it sat 21-17 in the closing stages, however England held on to end a seven-game losing streak against the men in black.
It was an even contest throughout the opening seven minutes with neither side seriously testing the try line, until Oscar Ouma latched onto the ball in space and broke England's defensive line for a 0-7 half-time lead.
After initially letting Kenya break the line, Phil Burgess produced a stunning try saving tackle to deny the Africans a second score but shortly after Billy Odhiambo was able to dot down to down their lead.
England pressed late on but struggled the wear down a well marshalled defence and will face the Kiwis in the fifth-place semi-final for a second tournament in a row.
On the artificial surface inside BC Place, in their opening fixture in Canada against Wales, England ran in six tries including a hat-trick for Dan Norton and two from Ollie Lindsay-Hague in a 36-5 win.
Despite Phil Burgess' score, a number of clinical offloads saw Samoa beat England 21-5 as the final round of games could then see three teams finish top of the pool.
However, in an end to end game, two scores from Ruaridh McConnochie, including one at the death through a rolling maul, saw England secure a 21-7 victory over Argentina to top their pool.
Dan Bibby, Phil Burgess, Richard de Carpentier, Harry Glover, Charlie Hayter, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Ruaridh McConnochie, Tom Mitchell (c), Ryan Olowofela, James Rodwell, Dan Norton, Ethan Waddleton, Will Edwards.
England’s Vancouver 7s results:
Pool B - England 36-5 Wales
Pool B - England 5-21 Samoa
Pool B - England 7-21 Argentina
Cup quarter final - England 0-14 Kenya
Fifth place semi-final - England 21-17 New Zealand
Fifth place final - England 31-14 Australia