- England secure silver at HSBC Paris Sevens
- How England progressed on day one - read
- England Women Sevens finish eighth in Paris - more
England Sevens finished second at HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris after a 14-24 defeat to South Africa in the final.
Earlier in the day at the Stade Jean-Bouin, Tom Mitchell's late try gave England a 19-17 win over Fiji in the quarter-final before a 26-12 victory against Canada secured a place in the final.
England had finished second in Pool D on day one after a 28-21 win over hosts France, a 28-19 victory over Argentina before drawing 19-19 with the USA.
The 19 points earned by Simon Amor's side for their result in Paris means they finish fifth overall in the HSBC Sevens Series standings this season, ahead of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco next month.
Going for gold
Facing a South Africa side who needed a win to retain their HSBC Sevens Series title, England barely had any of the ball in the opening minutes but were putting in a solid defensive effort.
It took Werner Kok's clever footwork to break the deadlock and give the Blitzboks the lead, but England's reply was immediate as Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Dan Norton combined, with the former taking a pass back on the inside to run in unopposed.
Norton's 299th career try was something special to give England the lead as he powered off the left wing with a couple of sidesteps to create space, before racing under the sticks.
This is an epic final. South Africa lead 21-14 with under 4 minutes to go! If they win, they win the world series.— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) June 10, 2018
TV: https://t.co/6Z1gHYc5eh pic.twitter.com/FxCUhh3J1s
With over two minutes of extra-time played in the first-half, Ryan Oosthuizen gathered a bouncing ball out right and the extras were knocked over as it sat 14-14 at the break.
The Boks struck first again after the break as Dewald Human crossed before Justin Geduld knocked over a penalty as they established a 10-point lead.
England were unable to breakthrough a well marshalled Blitzboks defence again as they secured not only the Paris title but were crowned champions of the series.
Head of England Sevens Simon Amor: “We’re delighted to get to the final and I’m really pleased with the effort and the attitude of the guys right the way through; I thought we played some really great rugby.
“Unfortunately we weren’t able to adapt when the weather came down in the final, but it’s a great learning experience for some of our younger ones – particularly Ryan Olowofela who has really made some great progress, and of course Harry Glover and Ethan Waddleton. The experience of them playing in the final is so important for our pathway and as we progress on towards the World Cup.
“That’s what this season has been about for us – there’s been a huge amount of learning going on and we’ve adapted the way that we’ve played the game. I’m really pleased with the progress that we’ve made in key areas but we can still definitely be a lot better.
“With some of the young guys coming through and showing their talent, we’ll be working really hard with them to make them world-class players. We just need to fine tune a few areas to give them and ourselves a really good chance of ending this season on a high at the World Cup.”
After getting their hands on the ball for the first meaningful time, England's quick offloads gave the ball tobNorton out wide, and his inside, then outside footwork got him half a gap to burst through for the opener.
However, Canada responded through Nathan Hirayama when he crossed out on the left wing and he nailed the conversion to make it 7-7.
A moment of magic got England ahead again, as Phil Burgess' offload landed near the feet of Lindsay-Hague and he chipped it up into his own hands before racing through to dot down under the sticks.
Pat Kay's took advantage of a quick tap and go to score for the Canadians that saw the game sat finely poised at 14-12 to England at the break.
Lindsay-Hague's footwork saw him spin out of a tackle, step a couple of defenders and race away for his second before Tom Mitchell's pass set up Tom Bowen from close range to seal the win.
Against the side that won the HSBC London Sevens last week in Fiji, England were behind early on as Eroni Sau broke from deep and then his momentum saw him cross the line despite two cover tackles on him.
A superb line by Harry Glover off Ollie Lindsay-Hague's pass saw him power through the middle of the pitch as England took a two-point lead, but on the stroke of half-time Vatemo Ravouvou's dummy and burst saw the Fijians ahead.
Fiji's third came from a strong fend from Jerry Tuwai before dotting down, but England were right back in the game as Phil Burgess' well-timed break and grubber set up Dan Norton to dive over.
In their opening game of the tournament against hosts France, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Ethan Waddleton and Ryan Olowofela saw England tied 21-21 in the closing stages before Phil Burgess' late score snatched victory.
Harry Glover's early score set England on the way against Argentina, with Tom Mitchell, Dan Norton and Olowofela also crossing in victory.
The first day finished with Lindsay-Hague, Glover and Olowofela setting up a 19-7 lead against the USA, but the Americans battled back in the closing stages to tie the game up with two tries, and they finished top of the group.
England 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 (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 19-17 Fiji
Cup semi-final - England 26-12 Canada
Cup final - England 14-24 South Africa