England equalled their best finished since Sydney by securing a bronze medal with a 28-7 victory over the USA at the National Stadium.
The final was a passionate affair and both sides saw yellow cards in the first half, including two for Joe Schroeder (deliberate knock-on and a dangerous tackle). The USA held firm and forced England to go well beyond normal time in order to gain an advantage but gain one they did. Simon Amor’s side went into the pause 14-7 up and worked their numerical advantage for the whole of the second seven minutes to create their 21-point win and secure 17 world series points.
England had found themselves contesting for bronze after one of the most enthralling matches of the weekend. The side’s face-off against Fiji had everything and the 26-12 final scoreline didn’t reflect the closeness of the contest. Fiji had flown into a 12-0 lead before that was cut back to 12-12. Both outfits put outstanding try-saving tackles on the park, including Harry Glover being denied with a minute to go, and then Fiji’s two late strikes through Sevuloni Mocenacagi and Meli Derenalagi ensured the hardest of hard-earned victories.
The USA’s eighth consecutive Cup semi-final didn’t go their way. Instead, South Africa clicked against them and dominated the first half. The Blitzboks limited the USA’s ball and clinically took their two tries. Mike Friday’s men never gave up though, striking back after the interval and again on the final play, but Impi Visser’s 50-metre effort and a penalty try meant that they couldn’t catch their opponents and fell 24-12.