England Sevens and Worcester back row Jake Abbott lost out on a final place losing to in-form Samoa in the Cup semi final of the Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens.
England went down fighting 28-24 in a physical encounter which came down to conversions. Both sides scored four tries each with Samoa just edging England with the boot for the draw.
Chris Brightwell (Bedford) and Oliver Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins) crossed in the first half whilst Bristol’s Mat Turner went over in the second after a well timed kick from Ben Gollings (Gold Coast) sent him through on the chase.
Samoa scored quickly after that and then again from the restart and kicked both conversions leaving England trailing 28-19.
James Rodwell went over on the final buzzer but Gollings missed his second attempt at the posts to finish on 24-28.
England add 16 points to their IRB World Series tally with all to play for at their home tournament, the Emirates Airline London Sevens on May 22 & 23.
Head Coach Ben Ryan said, “We lost to Samoa in Dubai last year and then again in the semi final today but they are a very good side. It was four tries each in that match and they just sneaked it, in what was a close affair.
“This side is young and inexperienced but they’re learning a lot. We’ve made some mistakes along the way but to come back from the disappointment of losing pool matches in Adelaide last week to being in the cup semi final this week is progress.”
England: Tom Powell (Cambridge), Chris Brightwell (Bedford), James Rodwell (Moseley), Nick Royle (Fylde), Oliver Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins), Ben Gollings (capt, Gold Coast, Australia), Mat Turner (Bristol Rugby)
Replacements: Christian Wade (London Wasps), Jake Abbott (Worcester Warriors)
Scorers: Tries: Brightwell, Lindsay-Hague, Turner, Rodwell; Cons: Gollings (2)
Hong Kong Sevens fixtures and results:
March 26, England 45-0 Hong Kong
March 27, England 45-0 Japan
March 27, England 26-5 Wales
March 28, Cup quarter final England 26-19 Australia
March 28, Cup semi final Samoa 28-24 England