England finished third at the Singapore Sevens after defeating South Africa 26-24 in the bronze medal match.
Their path to the final had been halted by Australia in the semi-final, leaving them to battle for third place in the eighth leg of the HSBC World Rugby sevens series.
South Africa started the contest well with Muller Du Plessis scoring early in the match. Cecil Afrika then scored under the posts to extend the lead to 10-0.
England hit back with Charlie Hayter finishing off James Rodwell's break on the left wing before Du Plessis was sin binned, reducing South Africa to six men and England took advantage with Ruaridh McConnochie's try and Tom Mitchell's conversion giving them the lead.
Mitchell also went over before the break to give England a 19-10 lead at half-time.
Stedman Gans scored under the posts, with the conversion reducing the deficit to two points before Werner Kok powered through for a fourth try and Afrika added the extras for 24-19.
Mike Ellery's last-minute try put England level, and Mitchell conversion gave them the lead. Mitchell himself was then sin binned in an absorbing last minute to the game, but England held on for victory.
“We’re pleased to take home the bronze medal but above all the heart, the fight and the work ethic of this group of players right across the weekend in some pretty tough conditions was fantastic,” said head of England Sevens, Simon Amor.
“We were disappointed with the number of errors that we made in our semi-final game against Australia but we’ll keep on working hard to get better.
“This weekend has demonstrated the importance of the depth of our squad, particularly with young players like Charlton Kerr coming through – we’re really pleased for him and how he performed this weekend.”
Victory over Samoa
Having topped Pool B on day one with three successive victories over Kenya, the United States and France, England defeated Samoa 12-5 in the quarter-finals on Sunday to progress to the last four and set up a contest with Australia.
Mitchell opened the scoring in the quarters, converting his own try for 7-0 before Belgium Tuatagaloa responded for Samoa.
However, Charlton Kerr who scored a hat trick on day one, continued his good form scoring a crucial try to secure England's path.
Defeat to Australia
They met Australia in the final four, and an early Jesse Parahi try gave them the lead before fine footwork from captain Mitchell saw him dart through and level the scores at the break.
Dylan Pietsch scored Australia's second, but the conversion was missed, however a penalty soon after extended their lead to 15-7 which they held to set up a final against Fiji.
Dan Bibby, Phil Burgess, Alex Davis, Richard de Carpentier, Mike Ellery, Charlie Hayter, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Charlton Kerr, Ruaridh McConnochie, Tom Mitchell ©, Dan Norton, James Rodwell
13th man: Ryan Olowofela
Updated 17:52 - 3 May 2018 by Paul Smith