Scotland bowed out of the Hong Kong Sevens at the Cup quarter-final stage today, defeated 7-28 by a William Ryder inspired Fiji.
However coach Stevie Gemmell is adamant his squad are making “massive progress” as they build towards the climax of this season’s IRB series - the Emirates Edinburgh 7s at Murrayfield in June.
Ten of Gemmell’s squad had never experienced the atmosphere of Hong Kong sevens before, while some five players were making their debuts on the IRB circuit.
He said: “In sevens, just one moment can turn a tie. We were playing really well and were competitive against Fiji today. We’d kept the ball for long periods and we’d fought back through a Max Evans try, converted by Mike Adamson, to trail 7-14.
“At that point Colin White was adjudged not to have got downward pressure when he was over the line and even 12-14 would have asked different questions of Fiji.”
As it was, a little inexperience told against Scotland as Ryder, hailed as the new Serevi, completed a try hat-trick. Fiji went on to defeat New Zealand in the semi-final before losing 22-27 to Samoa in the final.
The Scots now travel on to the sixth leg of the series - in Adelaide, Australia - next weekend but their performance in Hong Kong has lifted them back into the top eight and that will help their seedings for future tournaments.