Rugby World Cup Sevens: England men to face South Africa in semi-finals
England men will face South Africa in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup Sevens after defeating hosts USA 24-19 in San Francisco.
Phil Burgess scored a golden try in extra time at AT&T Park to send England through to the last four where they will face the World Series champions, who defeated Scotland 36-5.
John Dalziel’s Scotland side will finish no higher than fifth.
England women won the Challenge final to ensure a ninth-place finish.
On Friday, they were knocked out of the main competition after losing 19-14 to a strong Ireland side, who eventually finished sixth.
Reigning world champions New Zealand women retained their title with a 29-0 victory over France.
The USA had taken an early lead over England in their Championship quarter-final but two tries from Dan Norton ensured a 12-7 advantage for England at the break.
Ollie Lindsay-Hague scored straight from the restart and despite a second-half fightback from the hosts, Burgess touched down in extra time following an inch-perfect crossfield kick from captain Tom Mitchell to seal the win.
“It was always going to be a tight one playing the USA at home here in San Francisco but that was an unbelievable effort from the squad where we demonstrated a massive amount of trust to stick in it and believe in ourselves,” said Mitchell.
Scotland will face USA in their penultimate game in San Francisco as they battle for fifth place, after South Africa proved too strong in the quarter-finals.
The Blitzboks were 17-0 ahead at the break and Alec Coombes’ second-half score was not enough to mount a Scottish comeback.
Meanwhile in the men’s Challenge competition, Ireland and Wales will go head-to-head for a place in the final as they bid for a ninth-place finish.
Ireland defeated Kenya 24-14 while Wales sealed a 24-19 victory over Samoa to book their semi-finals berths.
England had booked their place in the Challenge final with a 38-0 thrashing of China in the last four, with Natasha Hunt scoring two tries in the first half.
There were five different England try scorers – including Hunt – in the final against Japan as England recorded a 31-5 to end a disappointing campaign on a high.
Ireland had to settle for a sixth-place finish after a 12-7 loss to Spain in the Championship 5-6 place play-off, having defeated Russia 20-15 earlier in the day.