sports gazette

RELIVE #London7s Day One England Watch- 2016/17 Sevens Worlds Series

Published: 20 May 2017

- England aiming for highest World Series finish since 2005/06
- 18 points ahead of New Zealand, Fiji cannot catch England now
- Saw off Spain, and beat Australia and Samoa at the last!
- Get involved @SportsGazette

19:10- Day one done!

So there we are! We've seen everything today- from amazing fans to dramatic rugby, with a couple of pitch-invaders thrown in there too!

England can be happy with their performance- they improved throughout the day.

The first matct against Spain feels stagnated on reflection. There were more spaces to be optimised and more aggression was needed. The one try conceded will hurt.

Againt Australia, they showed tremendous spirit. Any last-minute victory is sweet. And the same goes for Samoa, despite being harder than it should have been.

Well, it's goodnight and see you tomorrow! We'll be back to follow all the action on Finals day- can England go all the way?

Let's dream...

19:05- Sunday is calling...

After a dramatic day of rugby sevens, here is the Cup quarter-final draw

18:58- For those of you who want to relive that moment...

18:36- FT: England 24-19 Samoa

They did it! A late push by the boys ended with Alex Davis crossing the line!

Three wins out of three tops the group- reaction coming up!

18:36- possession won...

18:35- 14: Time running out...

England have a line-out to maximise...

18:31- 12: TRY SAMOA!

Faalemiga Selesele optimises space behind England to score another try.

Converted- Samoa take the lead 19-17...

18:29- 10:TRY ENGLAND!

Oliver Lindsay-Hague drives through the posts after Burgess' drive. Converted.

Quick response from Samoa though as Alamanda Motuga scores a converted try.

England 17-12 Samoa

18:25- HT: England 10-5 Samoa

An interesting half. England clearly cause Samoa problems but are allowing pressure on.

Maybe it's a tactic. After all, top of the Pool means South Africa tomorrow...

18:24- 7: TRY SAMOA!

Gordon Langkilde performs a 'duck and dive' to dodge his tackle and score in the left corner.

Conversion missed- 10-5 England.

18:22- 4: TRY ENGLAND

After a video referee call, Ruaridh McConnochie's try stands. Same story here- England's movement is too much for Samoa to handle.

Conversion missed- 10-0 England.

18:20- There were couple of extra 'players' before kick-off...

18:18- 3: TRY ENGLAND!

It's the captain again- Phil Burgess goes over the line after three minutes.

Conversion missed- 5-0 England.

18:14- FT: Australia 50-0 Spain

Unfortunately, this was always going one way. Whilst Spain grew into the match, Australia flexed their muscles when they needed to.

There's only one more match...

18:09- Spain fighting off more misery

Whilst stuck in their own half, Spain are defending very well- they're quick to the ball and are crowding Aussie players.

Full time confirmation soon.

18:03- HT: Australia 40-0 Spain

Yep...

18:02- England v Samoa: all you need to know

17:56- Australia v Spain underway- TRY AUSTRALIA!

One minute in, and Tom Kingston finishes off a fine move on the left wing.

Start counting in double-digits now I'd say...

17:53- Perry blitzes the Blitz Bokke

Once again, it's Perry Baker who sprints from one end to the other to stun South Africa! Another try by Andrew Durutalo and this is done.

Meanwhile, on the sides...

17:47- Pool D matches

After this match, the two Pool D matches will see us out to the end of the day.

At 17:57, Australia will look for a convincing win against Spain.

Finally, England will hope to assert their Cup quarter-final place against Samoa at 18:15.

17:42- HT: South Africa 7-12 USA

The Americans have taken the Blitz Bokke by surprise here- two quick-fire moves have given them momentum going into the second half.

However, there's more to come in this match...

17:35- FT: Wales 17-28 Kenya

And now...

17:29- Wales strike back

The Dragons hit back with two qui-succession tries- 17-28, five seconds to go, Wales' play...

17:25- And right on cue...

Kenya's Dennia Ombachi and Nelson Oyoo cross the line in the space of two minutes to lead Wales 28-7.

England have had difficulties dealing with Kenya's brute force and speed this season, so this result will not be a comfort if the home team qualify.

17:23- Quater-final conundrums

With England looking to secure their place in the Cup quarter-finals against Samoa, we can start thinking about who they could face.

If they qualify, they will either face the winner or runner-up of Pool A, which features South Africa, USA, Wales and Kenya.

Kenya are currently beating Wales 14-5 and, if the result stays like this, Pool A could get interesting...

17:06- ICYMI

Phil Burgess has led England out today in front of this ecstatic crowd. However, whilst a master on the pitch, he's also a master of pen and paper.

Phil has been writing a regular column for the Sports Gazette throughout the 2016/2017 Sevens World Series.

You can check out the latest column about #London7s plus other columns here!

16:57- French injury

It's never nice to see a player getting injured. Robinson Caire has gone off with a leg brace two minutes from half time against Scotland.

Here's hoping it's not too serious...

16:50- The party doesn't stop here!

16:40- Dan Norton hitting good form

He's a legend when it comes to rugby sevens. The record try-scorer and conqueror of Australia.

And the stats back up his performance- it's his work across the pitch that puts him on this list.

16:25- FT: New Zealand 27-21 Fiji

That full time in this 'top of the table' clash. New Zealand will compete for the Cup quarter-finals and Fiji will be in the Challenge.

The maximum points available points in the Challenge are eight whilst the minimum points in the Cup are 10, so Fiji are out of the race for second.

The Kiwis could still make a late surge though- we will see tomorrow. In the meantime, more build-up on the way.

16:19- Good news for England

In this second half, New Zealand have nicked two tries to lead 22-14. Two and a half minutes to go- a lot of work for Fiji to do but still possible.

16:12-Back to Fiji...

On the pitch right now we have New Zealand and Fiji with Fiji currently leading 14-12.

Only one of these teams can go to the Cup quarter-finals and be in with a chance of catching England in the overall standings.

Right now, tomorrow is looking very intersting....

15:58- POOL D UPDATE

England are now through to the Cup Final- it's just a question of whether they finnish winner or runner-up in the group.

To win they must see off Samoa at 18:16 whilst Australia will hope to secure their place with a win against Spain at 17:54.

Lots to look forward to before the day is done!

15:33- Just to confirm

England edge out Australia in the Pool D match 19-12!

Confirmation of Pool D table coming up...

15:28- UNBELIEVEABLE

15:26- 13: Scrum at the last?

One minute to go, scrum in the middle of the park- literally a 50/50 here...

15:25- 12: Close for Australia!

Stannard almost went through on a kick before Burgess brought him down on the five-metre line.

Two captains being shining examples of the sport.

15:23- 10:TRY ENGLAND!

Immedia response- James Rodwell finds Norton in space on the right

Bibby converts- we're level at 12-12 with three 1/2 minues to play!!!

15:21- 8: TRY AUSTRALIA!

It looked good for England but a quickly-taken penalty by Simon Kennewell left three defenders grasping at thin air.

Conversion missed- 12-5 Australia.

15:19- HT: England 5-7 Australia

A strong first-half for Australia. England need some more calm in the middle of the field to string passes together.

Tight game, will be even tighter second half.

15:17- 7: Staunch defencing by England!

Australia had a disallowed try and a penalty but England managed to hold them back!

Impressive stuff! Almost half time...

15:15- 3: Close!

Ruaridh McConnochie almost puts England through with a super side-step but Australia force it out. 

But...

Conversion missed by Dan Bibby- 7-5 Australia

15:11- 1: TRY AUSTRALIA!

Amidst the hails of 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot', Boyd Killingworth finds space to cross the line.

James Stannard converts- 7-0 Australia.

15:09- THE BIG ONE

Out they come- England and Australia, ready to do battle once again at Twickenham. Stay tuned for live coverage!

To confirm, Samoa beat Spain 40-7.

15:05- Samoa saved by Samoa

We've been waiting for this to happen!

Tries by Somoa Toloa and Tofatu Solia have widened the gap beween Samoa and Spain to 33-7.

1 minute to go...

14:59- England v Australia: all you need to know

14:56- Warm-ups

There's some hard graft from England going into their passing moves and catching to my left.

On my right, Australia are focussing on catching and long-range passes.

Expect to see a lot of smart rugby here- wide passes and intricate moves to find the gaps...

Samoa 19-7 ahead at half-time.

14:50- England are out- meanwhile...

Samoa have just kicked off against Spain- 7-7 after three minutes!

14:44- Aussies with their game faces on?

Australia have come out very early to warm up for their match against England at 15:10.

They're getting some grief from the South stand fans- how influential could the crowd be on this match?

Not long to go...

14:34- Come to think of it...

14:25- 'There's a car on the pitch!'

Don't panic- it's this!

DHL, a sponsor of the Sevens World Series, use a remote-controlled car to carry the ball onto the pitch.

Talk about man v machine...

14:13- In other news...

Perry Baker has just scored a try for the USA, taking him to 50 for the 2016/17 Sevens World Series- top of the pile!

They are currently playing Kenya and winning 26-0. Could they taste success here in Twickenham this weekend?

13:54- View from the terraces

The action isn't just on the pitch! The fans are treated to an amazing day out with food, drinks and entertainment, so we're getting amongst it all day to get a taste of the atmosphere!

Will (left in flamingo costume) has come from Sheffield with his sister Molly (right), who has come with a group of friends from Durham University.

Dressed in flamingo outfits, we just had to meet them!

"The Sevens are great- an enjoyable day so far," Will said.

"We're supporting England. We have a few Scotland fans but we're trying to ignore them! Very good fun!"

13:24- Twickenham living up to its name

As the sun starts to shine on a rain-soaked Twickenham, the crowds are really starting to party.

So much so, they even have their own game going! This giant rugby ball was thown into the stands and a game of 'touch rugby' ensued.

13:15- STAY TUNED

We'll be speaking to the England team and coaching staff at the end of the day about the events of Pool D.

Watch out for videos and updates here this evening. Plus, get in touch @SportsGazette!

13:09- The Bibby family getting into the spirit of #London7s 👌

12:57- Fiji edging closer to Cup quarter-finals

Speaking of Fiji, they have just trounced Japan 61-5. I imagine both England and Australia will now be having conversations about this...

12:54- POOL D UPDATE

Here's the latest standings in Pool D

This makes England's next game against Australia absolutely vital if they want a good draw tomorrow.

If England finish in the top two, they will play with the winner or runner-up of Group A, which is looking like Fiji or New Zealand right now...

12:40- And back we go!

We've got another wait until England play again- this time it's Australia at 15:10.

Meanwhile Fiji have jumped out of the blocks with two quick converted tries against Japan to lead 14-0.

12:25- FT: ENGLAND 28-7 SPAIN

A great show for the fans but you can't help feeling England would wish for a better result.

Pool table coming soon..

12:23- ET: England hunt points

After Australia's big win, England go hunting one last time for those extra points to top the Pool... but Spain are in their half...

12:21- 12: SPAIN TRY!

A surprise for the fans here as Igor Genua crosses the line. Converted for 28-7.

This is a result for Spain- in Paris, they lost 31-0 to England. Already seeing big improvements in consistency and defence with this team.

12:19- 11: ENGLAND Sub

Yougester Harry Glover comes on for Linsday-Hague, who has had a great game. Ideal for England to put an early stamp on a game they need to win to get started well.

Full time looming...

12:16- 9: ENGLAND TRY!

I'm getting used to writing this! Captain Burgess leads the way with a try in the right corner.

Bibby converted- 28-0 ahead.

12:13- HT: England 21-0 Spain

And amongst all that, there was another try! After sustained pressure, Oliver Lindsay-Hague found a gap in the Spanish defence.

Bibby converted- 21-0 to England, and lookong solid.

12:11- 7: Spain struggling for defence

A lot of this was to be expected but Spain just can't cope with England right now.

Phil Burgess and Bibby are running the show in the middle, allowing Dan Norton room to run.

Spain holding on for now but not sure it will last another seven minutes.

12:08- 4: TRY ENGLAND!

They're at it again- this time Ruarich McConnochie finishes off a swift move from the right.

Bibby converts again- lead doubled in the space of a minute!

12:07- 3: TRY ENGLAND!

It's an amazing start for the hosts as Dan Bibby runs through the middle to score under the posts.

Bibby converts- 7-0 up!

12:05- It's time!

12:03- FT: Samoa 5-34 Australia

A dominant display by the Aussies. Capitalised on Samoa's loose play and never let off the pressure.

James Stannard led from the front with three tries- a lot for England to think about...

11:55- England v Spain: All you need to know

11:45-  ENGLAND ARE IN THE BUILDING!

Meanehile, Samoa and Australia have kicked off their match- currently 7-0 to the Aussies!

11:30- Not long to go...

There's only two matches until England take to the Twickenham stage against Spain at 12:04!

Meanwhile, 2016/17 champions South Africa are level with Kenya 5-5...

11:21- View from the terraces

The action isn't just on the pitch! The fans are treated to an amazing day out with food, drinks and entertainment, so we're getting amongst it all day to get a taste of the atmosphere!

It's a small world- sat right behind us is a stag do!

Ben Woodbridge (left) is the best man to his cousin Joe (the one dressed as Jesus!)- they've come from Hertfordshire to be here today to support England.

"It's been a great day out," Ben told us.

"I went to an Argentina match at Twickenham a few years ago. Here, it's a much more massive atmosphere here!"

Congratulations to Joe and all the best for the big day!!🎊

11:01- Let's speak Sevens!💬

Those are the Pool D teams.

But we have a question for you- who has been the best player of the 2016/17 Sevens World Series and why?

We want to hear from you on Twitter @SportsGazette or Facebook Sports Gazette!

10:55- A struggle against Samoa?

The last team of the team of the day for England are only just hitting their stride but can they cause a problem at Twickenham?

10:47- Angst from Australia?

It's going to be an interesting atmospehere where England take on the Wallabies- and it could be a close one...

10:41- Inside the England camp

A big absence from the England squad today is their captain Tom Mitchell...

... but the boys are raring to go. Phil Burgess, who has written a regular colum for us, will lead England out today.

Dan Bibby is raring to go!

10:31- The Spanish Inquisiton

Could we expect it today?! All you need to know about Spain below.

10:23- Eyes on England

Let's get to know the Pool D teams a bit better before they kick off later today, starting with hosts England.

10:15- New Zealand in the running too

Another team that has a mathematical chance of overtaking England is New Zealand.

With 18 points between the two teams, the All Blacks, who dominated sevens during the Noughties, would need a strong weekend to catch the Roses.

They're off to a good start though, having just thumped Japan 33-7 in Match 2. 😬

10:02- COMING UP!

England's first appearance at #London7s will be Match 8 against Spain at 12:04.

This is followed by a big rivalry in Match 16- the one and only Australia- at 15:10!

The hosts will finish off proceedings on Day One with Match 24 against Samoa at 18:16.

We'll be bringing you live coverage of these matches with pre-match stats and post-match interviews, plus a taste of the Twickenham atmosphere.

Want to talk to us? Get in touch @SportsGazette!

09:53- ... then again...

Canada have turned this match round with a 22-19 win over Fiji.

Booster for England?? Possibly- let's see what's coming up for the hosts!

09:45- The Fiji Complex...

Here's the 2016/17 Sevens World Series table going into #London7s...

South Africa sealed the title last week in Paris but England are competing for second place today.

Fiji, currently leading Canada 19-12 in the first match of the day, are the nearest competition, only three points behind the Roses.

They were last years champions and Olympic gold medallists so could they conjure that spirit to spoil England's party?

09:30- WELCOME TO TWICKENHAM!

It's the middle of May, the sun is shining and there's rugby at Twickenham?! 

That's right, it's the #London7s! The last round of the HSBC Sevens World Series has come to the home of rugby, and we're at the very heart of it!

We're going to be following England's progress over the whole weekend as they aim to finish the 2016/17 series off with a bang.

There's live action, stats and interviews coming your way, so sit back and enjoy the ride!

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