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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 April 2006, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
England victorious in Hong Kong
Ben Gollings is engulfed by his team-mates
Gollings is engulfed by his team-mates after his heroic late show
Ben Gollings was the last-gasp hero as England beat Fiji 26-24 in a heart-stopping Hong Kong Sevens final.

Gollings dashed over in the dying seconds to bring England level and sealed victory with the conversion.

England raced into a healthy 19-7 lead courtesy of tries from Tom Varndell, Mathew Tait and Gollings.

But Fiji came back strongly and William Ryder looked to have won it before Gollings pounced to seal England's fourth successive Hong Kong title.

"It was hammer and tongs all the way and we deserved to nick it," said England coach Mike Friday.

"Games are always tight against Fiji and we took our chances and our young guys didn't panic in a high-pressure environment.

"Ben Gollings came through for us and they will all benefit from this experience if they all move into their senior development.

"In a 20-minute final, you know that Fiji are going to come back - they've got a never-say-die attitude.

I was just in the right place at the right time
England's Ben Gollings

"As a spectacle, I think the crowd was very pleased with what they saw."

The victory takes England to 90 points overall in the IRB Sevens standings, just six points behind the Fijians on 96. South Africa lie on 70 points and New Zealand on 56.

Gollings was modest after his last-gasp intervention won the tournament for England.

"It wasn't major, I was just in the right place at the right time," he said.

"David Strettle got the ball to me and he created the opportunity for us to win.

"The victory is massive, and it is very crucial in the context that it narrows the gap between us and Fiji at the top of the standings.

"We were disappointed at not getting the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games last week and this definitely makes up for it - Hong Kong is the biggest Sevens tournament in the world."

England beat South Africa 24-0 in the semi-finals, Tait, Varndell, Simon Amor and Strettle the try-scorers.

Earlier, England had to survive a real fright, coming from 10-0 down to beat Samoa 14-10 in the quarter-finals.

Scotland also reached the quarter-finals, but fell to a 26-12 defeat against Fiji.

Meanwhile, Wales emerged triumphant in the Plate Trophy competition, beating Kenya 15-5.


SEE ALSO
England shine in Hong Kong Sevens
01 Apr 06 |  Rugby Union
England off to flyer in Hong Kong
01 Apr 06 |  Rugby Union
Sevens stars tipped for World Cup
18 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
England miss out on sevens gold
17 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games


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