England will face Fiji in tomorrow’s quarter finals of the South Africa Sevens after overpowering Argentina 19-0 in their final pool match in Port Elizabeth.
They had begun the day with a 26-7 win against the USA only to suffer a setback when they went down 24-14 to Samoa
But they regained their composure to beat the Pumas with two tries from Dan Norton and one from Simon Hunt with Saracens’ Marcus Watson adding two conversions at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
They patiently worked Norton into position to strike just before the break, then squeezed Argentina into errors with Hunt storming up the left for a second try before Norton’s kick ahead and acceleration past the final defender gave him the third.
“Against Samoa we failed at some of our basics and we were disappointed coming off the pitch,” said captain Greg Barden. “We knew Argentina would be up for the last game but we showed determination and now we can reset and get ready for another hard game in the quarter final.”
Tomorrow’s game (at 11.28 GMT) pits the winners of the first two legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series against each other. Fiji lifted the Gold Coast title and were beaten by Dubai champions England at the semi final stage last weekend.
England had opened their account against the USA with a 26-7 win secured by tries from James Rodwell, Watson, Mathew Turner and substitute Nick Royle with Watson adding three conversions.
Against Samoa leading try-scorers Norton and Turner both touched down but England conceded four to the 2010 series champions.
Paul Perez and Afa Aiaono struck in the first half for Samoa, who had beaten England at the Gold Coast Sevens a fortnight earlier, before Turner sprinted down the right to score with Marcus Watson converting.
Conceding possession and missing a tackle after the interval let Aiaono in for a second try. Norton then struck from long-range to give England a chance at 19-14 down before Faalemiga Selesele made sure for the islanders.