England sneak past Blitzbokke

2012-05-13 16:33
Matt Turner (File)
Cape Town - A last-gasp try from South African-born Matt Turner has enabled England to beat the Springbok Sevens team in their Plate semi-final at the London Sevens.

Results from the London Sevens at Twickenham

England won 19-17, after trailing 10-5 at half-time.

South Africa looked to have pulled off a morale boosting win, leading 17-12 and with the hooter sounding they had England pegged back on their own goal-line. But a late attack saw them move the ball up to halfway before former UCT speedster Turner broke through to score under the posts to level matters. Tom Mitchell converted to hand the hosts victory.

Earlier, the home side struck after just 29 seconds when Tom Powell crashed over. However, consistent pressure from South Africa saw Cornal Hendricks level matters on three minutes when he went over in the corner.

Just before the break Hendricks scored again - in the same corner - to put the Blitzbokke ahead. Philip Burger failed with both tough conversions but South Africa took a 10-5 lead into the break.

England regained the lead early in the second period when Same Edgerley scored under the posts after a brilliant break from Tom Mitchell.

But South Africa fought back and regained the lead when captain Kyle Brown brilliantly collected a cross-kick from Burger to run through and score under the posts.

Burger converted for a 17-12 lead with one minute left but agony was to follow for the Blitzbokke when Turner broke their hearts right at the death to cap a miserable day for coach Paul Treu's men.

Earlier the South Africans were crushed 36-0 by New Zealand in the Cup quarter-finals. That win ensured the Kiwis their 10th Sevens World Series title.

England will now meet Australia in the Plate final, with South Africa heading home with much to ponder after going through the season without one tournament victory.



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