Sevens World Series: England finish third in Glasgow

New Zealand's Joe Webber (front) is tackled by Marcus Watson
New Zealand's Joe Webber is tackled by England's Marcus Watson
By Jamie Lyall, BBC Scotland at Scotstoun Stadium

England all but clinched Team GB's berth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, finishing third in the Glasgow leg of the Sevens World Series.

Simon Amor's side sit fourth in the overall standings - the top four earn automatic Olympic qualification.

Fiji lifted the Cup, beating holders New Zealand in the showpiece to lead the series, while Scotland lost to South Africa in the Plate final.

England enjoy home advantage in the season's final tournament next weekend.

Sevens is making its Olympic debut next year and England's men's and women's teams were chosen to compete for Great Britain in qualifying after finishing the 2013-14 Sevens World Series higher than Wales and Scotland. If they earn Team GB a place, the squad will be drawn from players from all three countries.

In Glasgow, Samoa claimed the Shield, rounding off a disappointing weekend with victory over Portugal, while Wales won the Bowl, their first trophy of the season, courtesy of a Luke Morgan double in their 12-7 downing of Argentina.

A late breakaway try for Dan Norton secured England's passage to the Cup semi-finals as they defeated Canada 14-7 in one of the closest matches of the day, Dan Bibby also splashing his way to the whitewash on the slippery surface.

Hosts Scotland failed to record a maiden victory over New Zealand in their quarter-final, who have now won all 33 of the contests between the teams since their first meeting in 1999.

The Scotland players wave to the stand after being defeated in the Plate Final
The Scotland players wave to fans in the stand after being defeated in the Plate final

Colin Gregor brought Scotstoun to its feet with a neat sidestep, rounding Kiwi skipper DJ Forbes to capitalise on a period of sustained early pressure.

But 17-year-old star Rieko Ioane burst away to touch down for the visitors from a sublime arcing Gillies Kaka run, and Joe Webber turned Damien Hoyland inside out to take New Zealand into the lead.

Scott Curry wrapped up the victory with a try from a quick lineout on the full-time hooter, Kaka converting for a 17-7 triumph.

The Scots also required a late try to defeat Canada 14-12 in the Plate semi-final, Joe Nayacavou powering through weak defence and Gregor converting on the hooter.

Russell Weir had put Scotland ahead, but as the hosts missed two scoring opportunities, Sean Duke and Pat Kay tries handed Canada the lead, the latter from a brilliant Conor Trainor turnover, before Nayacavou's heroics.

England were next to tackle the All Blacks, the players by now cutting somewhat bedraggled figures as the rain and wind intensified.

After a scoreless first half, James Rodwell was shown a yellow card for infringing right on his own line, and from the tap-penalty, Ioane stepped inside the cover defence to score what proved to be the only points of the match, sliding over in the corner.

The Scots started what looks set to be their last Series tie at Scotstoun poorly, with Chris Dry and Werner Kok sprinting over for South Africa before half-time, but James Johnstone's dart down the blindside gave them a glimmer of hope.

Hoyland shimmied and jinked his way to the line with the last play of the game, but Weir fluffed his opportunity to force extra time, his conversion attempt cannoning back off the crossbar as Scotland fell to defeat 12-10.

England were seldom troubled by the USA in their third-place play-off, as Bibby dummied Carlin Isles to score, before captain Tom Mitchell finished off a slick team move from distance, and Norton added a third before half-time.

Norton touched down again after the break, rendering the American's late trio through speedster Perry Baker, former Glasgow Warrior Folau Niua and Madison Hughes little more than consolation scores.

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