England finished fifth at the Cape Town Sevens after defeating Spain 14-7 in the fifth-place final on day two. They earlier beat Australia 24-21 in the fifth place play-off but suffered a 12-19 loss to USA in the Cup quarter-final.
Simon Amor's side opened their Cape Town campaign with wins over Kenya and France but suffered a narrow loss to Fiji in the final pool game on day one.
Charlton Kerr got England up and running against Spain with the opening score after receiving an offload from his captain Tom Mitchell who then converted the try.
Phil Burgess added another five points for England as he spotted a hole in the Spanish defence and accelerated for the sticks setting up an easy conversion for Mitchell putting England 14-0 up at the break.
Spain responded in the second half as Pol Pla broke outside of England’s defenders and with a successful conversion closed the gap to 7-14 but it was mere consolation.
Earlier, England ran in four tries to defeat Australia 24-21 in the fifth-place semi-final. Will Muir was first to put points on the scoreboard after he spotted a gap in the Australian defence enabling him to cross the whitewash but Australia responded through a converted Maurice Longbottom try giving them the lead early on.
Mitchell put England back ahead at the stroke of half-time after he spotted an opportunity to power across the try line before converting his own score.
Longbottom used his pace to cross once again but Phil Burgess broke through Australia defence and offloaded perfectly to Tom Bowen on the right wing to regain England’s lead.
England’s momentum continued as Muir showed his strength to hold off Longbottom long enough to go over for his second but despite Tom Connor’s score it wasn’t enough for Australia and Amor’s men sealed the win.
Day two began with a defeat to USA. Alex Davis got his side off to a strong start as he made a wonderful break and crossed with just 19 seconds on the clock but the opposition fought back moments later after their captain Madison Hughes had a clean run for the posts to dot down.
England regained possession and denied USA the opportunity to get out of their own 22 before Bibby found space in the defence and touched down to put England 12-7 up at half-time.
Danny Barrett levelled the score after the break as he received the ball on the right hand side and sprinted outside the English defence to dot down moments before crossing for his second to secure a 19-12 win for the Eagles.
Head of England Sevens Simon Amor said: “We’re obviously pleased to finish off the tournament with two good wins against Australia and an in-form Spanish team, but disappointed with our performance against the USA and with some of our performances on day one.
“We faced some challenges losing Mike Ellery through injury during the first game in Cape Town and likewise with Ollie Lindsay-Hague picking up an injury during the opening game in Dubai. This stretched the squad a little but I’m pleased with the resilience that everyone demonstrated to come away with a third and fifth place finish in our opening two tournaments.
“These injuries have however provided lots opportunities for some of our younger players: Charlton Kerr, Will Muir – who has been exceptional over the two weekends – and Ryan Olowofela which is great for our long-term prospects this season.
England 12-19 USA
Tries: Alex Davis, Dan Bibby
England 24-21 Australia
Tries: Will Muir (2), Tom Mitchell, Tom Bowen
England 14-7 Spain
Tries: Charlton Kerr, Phil Burgess