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England stun NZ in Sevens triumph

England celebrate after Ben Gollings lands the winning conversion
England claimed the title with the last kick of the tournament

Ben Gollings landed a conversion with the last kick of the match to give England a 19-17 victory over hosts New Zealand in the Wellington Sevens final.

England trailed 17-0 but cut the gap to five points with tries from Ollie Phillips and Rob Vickerman.

Isoa Damudamu then scored with the last play of the game and Gollings - the IRB Sevens circuit's all-time leading scorer - landed the winning conversion.

It was England's first tournament win since Hong Kong in 2006.

They move level on 44 points with New Zealand in the IRB series standings, four behind overall leaders South Africa.

The African side made a dream start to this season's series, winning the first two tournaments, but lost 7-0 in a tense quarter-final to New Zealand in Wellington before going on to win the second-tier Plate competition.

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"It's been a long time coming," said the elated Gollings after his side pocketed their first title in Wellington.

"I've been coming here for eight years now and never quite got there. We looked down and out but we stuck to it and came up trumps in the end."

New Zealand captain DJ Forbes, who played with a hairline fracture in his lower leg, was devastated after his side were overhauled in the last seconds in front of largely partisan 35,000 crowd.

"We led all the way and to stuff it up like that was heartbreaking," he said.

Earlier in the day, England had to come from two tries down to defeat Fiji 31-10 in a gripping Cup quarter-final.

That earned them a semi-final against Kenya, who they easily accounted for with Phillips scoring a hat-trick in the 26-0 victory.

Wales' hopes of a rare Cup semi-final appearance were dashed by Kenya, who won their quarter-final 10-7.

But having claimed the prized scalp of New Zealand on day one, Wales added Fiji to the list with a 14-12 Plate semi-final win before losing the Plate final 26-12 to South Africa.

Scotland won the Shield after overcoming the disappointment of losing 22-12 to Australia in their Bowl quarter-final.

They beat Canada 14-7 in the Shield semi-finals before scoring four tries in their 26-0 win against Niue.

The Cook Islands beat Tonga 24-10 to win the Bowl final.

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see also
Scotland Sevens win Shield in NZ
07 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
England lose Dubai Sevens final
29 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union


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