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Saturday, 3 August, 2002, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK

England make quarters

By Charlie Henderson
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

England have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Commonwealth Games sevens tournament with a 100% record in Pool C.

Phil Greening's team followed up victories on day one over the Cook Islands and Kenya with a 19-7 win over Samoa on Saturday.

The hosts are joined in the second phase by Samoa.

The Samoans secured their passage courtesy of points difference despite a shock defeat to Kenya on day one.

Reports:

Pool C
Team W D L ForAgstPts
England 3 0 0 76 31 9
Samoa 1 0 2 70 52 5
Kenya 1 0 2 52 67 5
Cook Islands 1 0 2 31 79 5


England 24-12 Cook Islands

England opened the tournament in lacklustre fashion and were forced to work hard for victory after being caught cold in the first half by the Cook Islands.

The visitors twice held the lead in front of a partisan crowd that increased in size as the match wore on.

A try and conversion by Ben Gollings on half-time saw the teams turn round at 12-12.

And Phil Greening's team secured the win with two tries from Josh Lewsey in the second half.

"It's always tough to get the first game out of the way," Greening said after the final whistle.

"They put on a good fight and we didn't play anything like we wanted to. We've got a hell of a lot of work to do."


Samoa 20-28 Kenya

If the first match promised a shock, the second match, and Kenya, delivered.

The Africans, who lost 71-0 to Fiji four years ago in Kuala Lumpur, pulled off a remarkable and improbable win.

Kenya had been traling 10-0 but slowly clawed their way back into the match, exhibiting real pace in attack.

Their second-half tries had the crowd on their feet, Denis Mwanja's score in the corner and Steve Ndriitu's subsequent conversion giving them a one-point lead.

Kenyan captain Benjamin Ayimba was full of praise for his team after Oscar Osula's late try secured the win.

Ayimba said: "We really worked hard. We were down in the first half and it looked bad, but we picked up on our defence which is where we won the game."


England 33-12 Kenya

For the second successive game England struggled to dominate a match, but came away with the spoils.

They again conceded the first try and were 12-5 down at half-time following two scores by John Mitchell Otieno.

League convert Henry Paul responded with a brace of his own, the second a dazzling, jinking run.

Further tries from Phil Greening and Paul Sampson set the seal on an impressive second half, but England will be aware that a vast improvement is required ahead of the knock-out stage.


Samoa 43-5 Cook Islands

Brian Lima opened the scoring in the first minute as Samoa put their opening defeat behind them with a convincing display.

The Cook Islands were 17-0 down before they got on the scoreboard on the stroke of half-time.

Lima finished with a hat-trick as Samoa maintained their interest in the competition and a place in the last eight in what was a "do-or-die" match.

The defeat left the Cook Islands languishing at the foot of the pool and out of the competition.


Cook Islands 14-12 Kenya

Kenya failed to maintain the momentum they had built up on the day one, losing by two points in the opening match of the second day.

The Cook Islands started with purpose and stated their intentions with an early score from Koiatu Koiatu.

Vase Samania crossed in the opposite corner, before Kenya's John Mitchell Otione halved the deficit with a score on half-time - his fourth of the tournament.

Kenya stayed in contention with some strong defence, most notably from Oscar Osula.

However, when Osula failed to convert a last-minute Charles Cardovillis try, their fate was sealed.

England 19-7 Samoa

Simon Amor was the prominent figure in the match with a total of 14 points.

However, it was not only in attack that the Gloucester player stood out.

With the hosts again starting sluggishly, his last ditch tackle in the first half kept England's line intact before Phil Greening's try broke the deadlock.

Amor scored a brace of tries within a minute in the second half, the first a messy touchdown after a Henry Paul grubber-kick.

His solo effort assured England of victory and Samoa's late breakaway try helped them through to the second stage on points difference.


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