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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 May 2007, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
England stunned in London sevens
Jonathan Edwards
Edwards breaks forward for Wales in their thumping win over England
London Sevens, Twickenham
LIVE on BBCi from 1100 BST on Sunday 27 May
Highlights and live action on BBC2 at 1730 BST on 27 May

England's disappointing World Sevens series campaign continued after they failed to qualify for the main competition of the London leg.

After scraping past Portugal, England were thumped 22-0 by Wales in a bad-tempered contest at Twickenham.

Needing to win by 16 points in the final game against South Africa, England could only manage a 17-14 win.

Wales meanwhile, recorded a stunning last-gasp 15-14 win over Portugal to reach the last eight.

The Welsh, 14-10 behind with just seconds remaining, looked to be heading for defeat but they kept the ball alive and James Merriman crossed in the corner to seal an unlikely victory.

England's heavy loss to Wales was the key to their downfall.

The game saw a player from each side sin-binned while England were not helped by a dreadful howler from Isoa Damudamu, who had the ball kicked out of his hands as he delayed touching down for what would have been an opening try.

SPORT EDITORS' BLOG
TV rugby editor Carl Hicks

In the South Africa victory, Harlequins half-back Danny Care was the star, scoring a hat-trick of tries.

A much-changed England squad, led by new coach Ben Ryan, have endured their worst campaign since 2001 and are fifth in the table with no chance of claiming a first series title.

They will now compete in the second-tier Bowl competition on Sunday.

"We are gutted not to have progressed to the Cup competition," said Ryan. "Bowls and plates are for eating on not for playing for in my eyes and we are not looking forward to Sunday.

"We all have to go back tonight and take a long hard look at ourselves for our performance. I am proud at the way the boys came out and beat South Africa but it just wasn't good enough in the end."

Meanwhile Scotland opened up with a 19-0 victory over Italy and even though they were held to a surprise 19-19 draw with Kenya, they qualified before their 43-7 defeat to New Zealand.

The rest of the quarter-final line-up sees series leaders Fiji face Australia, second-placed Samoa take on Argentina while New Zealand meet South Africa.



SEE ALSO
Ryan unveils first Sevens squad
25 Jan 07 |  English
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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