Dubai Sevens: England coach Amor sees progression
England coach Simon Amor believes he saw progression in his young team in Dubai despite failing to improve on their final position in the first leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Australia.
England finished in fourth place in Dubai but actually won the third-place play-off on the Gold Coast.
As a former Dubai Sevens winning captain, Amor knows what it takes to win and acknowledges his side aren’t where he wants them to be. But the Englishman believes he saw enough in Dubai to think his players are on an upward trajectory.
“There’s some real positives,” said Amor. “We have done a lot of work over the past eight weeks in defence, and our tackling was the best it’s been.
“Our decision making defens-ively wasn’t great and we were punished for that, that’s what happens at this level of sevens.
“Although we came fourth in the end, there was still improvement from a number of the guys. The thing with sevens is that when you make progressions then the rest of the world make progressions too.
“Everyone upped their game in Dubai since the first leg so we need to improve and look to Port Elizabeth (the third leg) now.
“We have to work on our combinations. We have had a couple of new guys who are learning what it is like to be learning in a high-pressure atmosphere.”
England enjoyed some encouraging wins over the course of the weekend but ultimately failed against the bigger and more experienced teams, such as Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa.
Despite having a fabulous pedigree at this level – winning four Dubai Sevens in the last decade – the squad is relatively inexperienced and getting used to a new coach with new ideas.
Amor pointed out that his side needed to overcome their naivety in order to reach the next level. So all he has to do is play a waiting game.
He added: “It just comes to time and game sense, playing more sevens, and if we’re being critical we did some very naive stuff out there, but that can only be changed with time and experience.
“The semi-final against South Africa was a frustrating game, we didn’t play the breakdown well, they are very good there and we didn’t make good decisions so that’s another part of what we have to look at.
“The Dubai Sevens is a wonderful tournament, the atmosphere is amazing and with the growth of the invitational tournaments, it does make it a wonderful few days.”