England beat Fiji 19-15 to finish fifth in Las Vegas and gain 13 valuable series points which moves them into fourth in the standings after five rounds of the season. It was an intense game throughout, with plenty of physical collisions, but was won in the final seconds by Charlton Kerr dotting down in the corner.
England set out their physical early against Fiji – Will Muir’s first carry showed their ambitions – and their first try came as a result of one-up runners gaining vital metres. Tom Mitchell’s conversion handed them a 7-0 lead before Jerry Tuwai made his mark. Tuwai, a standout player across the three days and an HSBC Dream Team member, crossed and then set up Alasio Naduva to create a 10-7 advantage. On the stroke of half-time, Meli Derenalagi was sent to the sin-bin but a wayward pass from Dan Norton meant that England couldn’t make further inroads before the pause. The match remained locked until just over two minutes to play when Fiji’s excellent wrap around gave Terio Veilawa an unopposed route over the line. There was room for one final twist though as tries from Ryan Olowofela and Kerr helped to clinch a four-point victory.
Earlier in the day, Fiji had an incredibly tough and intense clash with South Africa for the honour of playing in the fifth-place final while England shut down Australia, who lost their shape slightly without captain Lewis Holland. Holland was suspended due to disciplinary reasons after a high tackle against Fiji on the second day.