England Men Sevens finished second in Pool D on day one of the opening round of the 2018/19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai with victories over Canada and Japan but lost out to Australia.
They will now face South Africa in the Cup quarter-final on Saturday 1 December at 7am (GMT) broadcast live on Sky Sports Arena.
England Men Sevens opened up this season’s campaign with a 26-12 victory over Canada.
Canada were first to put points on the scoreboard with a try from Matt Mullins but England responded immediately through Dan Norton who became the first sevens player to reach 300 tries.
Mike Ellery steamed through the Canadian defence to earn England their second which Tom Mitchell converted, but Canada’s Justin Douglas clocked up another for his side making it 12-14 at the break.
A beautiful display of teamwork between Harry Glover and Mitchell sent the captain over for his first of the season followed moments later by England’s fourth score courtesy of Tom Bowen.
England ran in five tries against Japan in their second pool game securing a 31-7 victory.
Norton added to his try tally with the opening score of the game which Mitchell converted before crossing for his own moments later.
Japan fought back through Katsuyuki Sakai who dotted down for their first try of the day but Ellery paced down the left wing on the stroke of half-time to extend England’s lead. Another successful Mitchell conversion put England 19-7 up at the break.
After a slow start to the second period it was Norton who put another five points on the scoreboard for England with Dan Bibby adding the extras before Ethan Waddleton crossed for England’s fifth.
Charlton Kerr was penalised for a high tackle and Australia's Maurice Longbottom took advantage with the first try but Mitchell responded with a converted score.
Kerr made amends on his return from the sin bin by scoring five points but England were down to six men again after Mitchell was handed a yellow card for a deliberate knock on. Australia took full advantage of the space and scored their second try through Lachie Anderson and then added a third courtesy of John Porch making it 12-14 at the break.
England snatched back the lead after in-form Norton seared down the left wing before offloading to Waddleton who crossed the whitewash. A third England sin bin gave Australia another opportunity which they fully exploited as Ben O’Donnell added another five points to the scoreboard and secured the 22-19 win.
“We played three tough oppositions today and we had to adapt a lot for three very different styles of play but the boys stuck in it well,” said Mitchell.
“We’re disappointed after going down by a couple of points to a strong Australian side but we’re excited for tomorrow where there’s a lot on the line.”
England 19-22 Australia
Tries: Tom Mitchell, Charlton Kerr, Ethan Waddleton
England 31-7 Japan
Tries: Dan Norton (2), Tom Mitchell, Mike Ellery, Ethan Waddleton
England 26-16 Canada
Tries: Dan Norton, Mike Ellery, Tom Mitchell, Tom Bowen
England Men Sevens squad for Dubai:
Tom B owen
Tom Mitchell ©
13th man: Richard de Carpentier