WELLINGTON, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Samoa's remarkable surge through the international rugby sevens world series in Wellington came to an end Saturday when they fell 21-19 to England in a tense semi-final battle right up to the final whistle.
England were caught on the back foot when Samoan captain Afa Aiono fended off a defender to run down the line and put the ball over the corner in the 27th second, although Patrick Faapale missed the conversion.
Samoa dominated possession until Alatasi Tupou found a gap in defense after a penalty and put the ball under the posts. Faapale's boot found the target for the conversion
Christian Lewis-Pratt proved his worth for England after taking a pass from a penalty and going over the line near the corner, before making the conversion too.
Lewis-Pratt received a pop pass from a second penalty to take the ball under the posts in the eighth minute and making the conversion again to put England 14-12 up at half time.
Samoa's second half started badly with Tupou sent off to the sin bin, leaving a hole that allowed England's Marcus Watson to slip through for a try just after four minutes, with Lewis-Pratt again finding the posts with his kick.
Samoa fought back and substitute Lio Lolo battled his way over the line for a try just on six minutes, converting his own try.
Despite a desperate fight in the closing seconds, Samoa failed to close the two-point gap before England put the ball into touch.
England goes on to play for the final cup later Saturday.