England close gap but Kiwis take title

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The Independent Online

England claimed the London Sevens title while New Zealand were crowned the overall IRB World Sevens champions at Twickenham.

The hosts saw off Fiji 31-24 in the final on Saturday evening with tries from Tony Roque, Henry Paul, Ben Gollings, Simon Amor and Ugo Monye.

Nasoni Roko, the tournament's top try scorer, had opened the scoring for Fiji and Filimoni Bolavucu touched down twice but England, who had earlier overcome South Africa 26-5 in the semi-finals, had too much power. It was England's third tournament win of the series after victories in Hong Kong and Brisbane.

New Zealand's quest came to an end with a 26-7 semi-final defeat to Fiji but their efforts had already been enough to secure top spot in the overall standings.

Argentina beat Canada 36-21 to win the Shield final, Samoa won the Bowl final with a 44-5 win over France while Australia overcame Wales 40-14 in the Plate final.

The New Zealand coach, Gordon Tietjens, was pleased to wrap up the title but admitted that England, who secured the overall runners-up spot, were improving. "England are definitely closing the gap," he said. "It has been neck and neck right the way through and I think they finished only four points behind us.

"It's been a great series and all credit to my team. It's been a very special year for us. We won in Wellington, our home tournament, so I know what England will be feeling right now because it is special to win in front of your own people."

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