England open Sevens with France victory

England, lying second in the IRB World Sevens Series, passed the first test in their bid for overall supremacy in the Emirates Airline London Sevens at Twickenham by defeating France 20-14 in their tournament opener.

The six point margin somewhat flattered France who lost the try count 2-4, England having made victory more difficult by failing to convert any of their tries.

But in the end that mattered little as England showed power, pace and not a little panache in creating their scores.


Scrum half Kevin Barrett opening England’s account with a try on the blind side after his team mates had worked the ball cleverly to create an opening.

England were then rocked back when France showed their attacking skills from turnover ball that ended with a try by Thomas Combezou, converted by Paul Albaladejo.

But before time England regained the lead with a fine off-load from Chris Cracknell that allowed skipper Ollie Phillips to scuttle in for his side’s second try, again unconverted for a 10-7 interval lead.

Any hopes France had of changing matters were crushed when Cracknell used his strength to power over from short range and then substitutes Uche Oduoza and Ben Gollings combined well to give record points’ scorer Gollings a try.

France save some face with a late consolation try and conversion by Albaladejo but it had no bearing on the final outcome. England now face Georgia who were heavily beaten by Samoa.

England : Tom Biggs, Rob Vickerman, Micky Young, James Rodwell, Ollie Phillips, Kevin Barrett, Chris Cracknell Subs used Greg Barden, Uche Oduoza, Ben Gollings.

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