England held their nerve to force their way into the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games Sevens with a 7-5 win over world champions Samoa.

England trailed to Alatasi Tupou’s early try but responded by taking the lead before the interval when Royal Navy flanker Greg Barden finished off a penalty move.

Skipper Ben Gollings’s conversion nudged them in front and they controlled the second half to book a semi-final date with three-time gold medallists New Zealand.

England had chances to score but most impressive was the way they pinned the IRB Sevens World Series champs deep in their own half for the remainder of the game.

“Samoa have been our nemesis in the last couple of years but we knew we were capable of beating them and we really kept our heads today,” said Gollings.

Samoa now go into the Plate semi-final against Wales, who scored twice against New Zealand through Aaron Shingler and Ifan Evans but went down 31-10.