England are Dubai Sevens champions again after beating France 29-12 in the final of the second leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
A superb second day performance saw Ben Ryan’s side overpower New Zealand 10-7 and Fiji 19-12 before a superb first half display in the final that ultimately clinched the title.
Isoa Damudamu – whose two tries sank Fiji in the semi final – struck early on then Dan Norton’s chip and chase and two touchdowns for Mat Turner put them 24-7 up at the interval and almost out of sight.
But France wing Renaud Delmas scored his second try early in the second half and France enjoyed long spells on top before England escaped to the other end of the field and Rob Vickerman pounced to see them safely home.
Earlier England opened up by beating Series champions New Zealand – then raised their game again against Fiji, who had won the opening leg of the series in Gold Coast.
Fijian-born centre Damudamu provided two vital tries in the first half after Emosi Vucago had opened the scoring for the islanders.
Turner then stretched the lead with a burst from the breakdown but England had to dig deep after Osea Kolinisau struck from long range and scramble for all they were worth in defence.
Earlier Turner and Norton edged them past New Zealand – England’s first win over the champions since their Dubai triumph of a year ago.
Norton’s sensational second half score – his sixth of the tournament – and Turner’s quick-thinking first half effort enabled them to come from 7-0 down after Tomasi Cama had struck early on.
On the opening day England saw off Zimbabwe (43-0), Kenya (19-12) and France (29-12), with Norton’s hat-trick in the final match sending them through as Pool C leaders.