England Men Sevens top their group after day one of HSBC Hamilton Sevens after two wins from their opening two games.
In their opener against Kenya, two early Willy Ambaka tries were sandwiched in between a score from Ollie Lindsay-Hague before Andrew Amonde gave Kenya a third try before half-time.
Just before the break, Dan Norton got his first try of the weekend before England pressure resulted in two late scores for Will Edwards as the men in white secured a 24-19 victory, with conversions added by captain Tom Mitchell and Edwards.
Against South Africa in their second match of day one in New Zealand, again England found themselves trailing early on as Stedman Gans and JC Pretorious gave the Blitzboks the lead with Norton’s try, the 348th for the all-time top try scorer on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, keeping England in the game.
England continued to press and Tom Bowen and Phil Burgess went over with Dan Bibby, Mitchell and Edwards all adding vital conversions as they secured a 21-19 win, after a late try from Justin Geduld.
If England win their final group game against Japan they will progress directly to the semi-final which you can watch at 22.51pm GMT on Saturday 25 January on Sky Sports Action.
It was another record for England’s all-time top try scorer Dan Norton as he overtook New Zealand’s DJ Forbes to become the player to feature in the most matches ever on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series as he reached 448 matches played in.
The 31-year-old winger made his debut in 2009 and has been a mainstay of the England side for over a decade.
He overtook England’s now acting head coach James Rodwell in recent years but after featuring in the first two matches in Hamilton, became the all-time leading appearance maker in matches.
Norton’s consistency does not look like slowing down as he has been a regular on the circuit so far this season and is second in the try scoring list from 2019/20 with 10, behind Ireland’s Jordan Conroy who has 13.
FIXTURES AND RESULTS
Kenya 19-24 England
Tries: Lindsay-Hague ‘4, Norton ‘9, Edwards ‘10,13
South Africa 19-21 England
Tries: Norton ‘6, Bowen ‘8, Burgess ’12
England v Japan [Sunday 26 January/Saturday 25 January 11.51am local time/22.51pm GMT]
All matches will be shown live on Sky Sports Action.