England sevens came agonisingly close to ending their 2009/10 Sevens World Series campaign on a high note, before suffering a last-gasp semi-final defeat to Samoa in Edinburgh.
England continued their build-up to the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games with a semi-final place at the Edinburgh Sevens.
They battled back from a 7-0 deficit at half-time with a try from Tom Powell and then Greg Barden cruised over the line on the full-time to level the scores. All-time leading IRB Sevens points scorer Ben Gollings had a chance to clinch victory but the conversion hit the posts, taking the match into extra-time.
Both teams had opportunities during extra-time, but the tie was eventually decided by a Lolo Lui drop goal on the buzzer to give Samoa a 15-12 win.
Ben Ryan, England sevens head coach, said: "To come so near yet so far is pretty galling really and it was another one of those days where we didn't have the rub of the green."
Samoa went on to beat Australia 41-14 in the final to claim their fourth Cup title of the season and secure their first IRB Sevens World Series crown.
England finished fifth overall in the IRB Sevens World Series. New Zealand finished second overall, with Australia third and Fiji fourth.
New Zealand have won all three of the gold medals since rugby sevens was introduced to the Commonwealth Games programme at Kuala Lumpur in 1998. England’s best performance to date is a silver medal at the Melbourne Games four years ago.
England results at Edinburgh sevens
England 17-5 Portugal
England 19-24 Canada
Australia 21-21 England
Cup quarter final: England 19-7 Scotland
Cup semi final: Samoa 15-12 England