Rugby Union: Morgan strike adds to worries

Middlesex Sevens
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A WINNING try from Gloucester's Simon Morgan in the first round of the Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham yesterday gave Richmond further misery to add to their grim fight for survival.

The Premiership One club, who appear likely to be wound up next month unless there is a financial miracle, led 12-7 before Morgan broke through to score between the posts.

Saracens, one of the favourites for the tournament, produced a crushing performance against London Welsh, with Ben Johnson claiming a hat-trick of tries and Brendon Daniel scoring twice.

The Fijian Waisale Serevi inspired gave the crowd a glimpse of his quality as the best sevens player in the world when he organised the Penguins to a 47-0 humiliation of Sale. Serevi converted six of the seven tries and scored one for the Penguins, which mainly comprises players from the Pacific Islands.

Harlow, qualifiers from League Five, had the consolation of three converted tries, but conceded six scores to the South African team Boland, while Leicester surprised Wasps by winning 21-12.

Meanwhile, England got off to a winning start in the Air France Paris Sevens yesterday, but their victory over Morocco came at a price.

England ended the Pool C clash potentially deprived of two players for today's remaining qualifying matches against the favourites Fiji and Canada. Harlequins' Jamie Williams was carried off near the end of a comfortable 24-5 win with an Achilles injury and the Saracens wing Rob Thirlby is suffering from food poisoning.

Earlier, Scotland lost 28-14 against Argentina, but there were thumping victories for Samoa, 38-0 over the US Eagles in Pool B, and Australia, who overwhelmed Japan 50-0.