England’s Sevens side will leave India empty-handed after losing 17-14 to South Africa in the bronze medal match at the Commonwealth Games.
A late try from Lulabalo Mtembu left England trailing in the final minute and despite two late breaks from Ben Gollings they couldn’t find a way through.
Head coach Ben Ryan admitted his side were “bitterly disappointed” but insists he has the players to go on and make a major impact in the IRB Sevens World Series that begins in Dubai in December.
“We leave Delhi without anything and we’re bitterly disappointed. It’s very frustrating but I believe in these players and believe we can go on and win a World Series with this side,” said Ryan.
Bernado Botha’s breakaway try put South Africa 5-0 up early on but England seized control with Gollings giving Mathew Turner the chance to score.
They went 14-5 clear through 20-year-old wing Dan Caprice’s stunning solo score with Gollings converting twice.
But England couldn’t turn some early second half pressure into points and Cecil Afrika’s kick and chase try, and superb conversion, hauled the Springboks back into it before Mtembu took the game out of England’s reach.
Earlier, England had started the day promisingly by beating Sevens world champions Samoa 7-5 in the quarter finals thanks to a Greg Barden try and Gollings conversion.
But they didn't get going in the semi final against New Zealand – Isoa Damudamu and Caprice scoring consolation tries in a 33-12 defeat.