Sevens

Norton clinches record-breaking Sevens try

2017-04-07 20:07
Dan Norton (AFP)

Hong Kong - England's Dan Norton hailed the "amazing feeling" of scoring a record-breaking try on the opening night of the Hong Kong Sevens Friday as the world's top teams returned to the home of the sport in spectacular style.

The 28-year-old winger touched down his 245th try as England steamrollered past South Korea 52-0 to become the all-time leading try scorer in world sevens -- one ahead of Kenya's Collins Injera who did not score as Kenya went down to Canada 17-14.

Norton paid tribute to his teammates following his historic try underneath the posts after he was brought on as a substitute.

"It was an amazing feeling, it was hard with the record in sight to try and control my brain coming into it," said the winger, who made his England debut in 2009 and also starred in Great Britain's Olympic campaign last year, when they lost in the final to a rampant Fiji.

"I've got some fond memories of playing here, we've hit a few finals here, I scored my 200th (try) here last year."

He added: "It's an amazing stadium -- it's the home of rugby sevens isn't it -- so really nice to do it here in this amazing atmosphere."

England, who lie second in the standings behind South Africa, are chasing their first win in Hong Kong since 2006 when coach Simon Amor was still in his playing days.

Amor hailed the winger as "world class", adding it would be "fascinating" in the coming tournaments to see the battle play out between Norton and Injera for the record.

He added: "The exciting thing for Dan is he's still got a few years left in him so he can get even better."

Australia edged past a powerful Samoa side in a narrow 22-19 win, with the Pacific islanders under former New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens.

New Zealand shrugged off the loss of their captain Scott Curry, who will miss the tournament with flu, to overcome a resilient Wales.

Stand-in New Zealand captain DJ Forbes scored as the All Blacks won 19-7 -- but he insisted he was just "filling in" for Curry.

"It's a huge (loss), he's obviously our captain and plays a massive role. Hopefully he'll be back for the last few (tournaments)," Forbes said.

Fiji -- the reigning sevens champions who are yet to win a tournament this term -- eased past Japan 36-0 as they made a strong start with new coach Gareth Baber, who was returning to Hong Kong after narrowly missing out on guiding the home team to the World Series last year.

Baber said it "felt special" returning to Hong Kong, adding: "If we're in the last game on day three, it will be even more special, so that's the aim."

South Africa overpowered France 17-10 with one of the Blitzboks' three tries scored by the returning Cecil Afrika, the team's greatest-ever points scorer.

Hong Kong is the the seventh of 10 tournaments in the global series, with Singapore hosting the next tournament later this month before it concludes in May in Paris and London.

Friday evening's games were played in front of virtually a capacity crowd of almost 39,000 with spectators treated to a Donald Trump impersonator singing a version of "Delilah".

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