Scots Again Through To Cup Quarter Final

Scotland have qualified for the Cup quarter-finals in the IRB Sevens World Series tournament in George, South Africa. They did it this afternoon by beating Australia 21-10 and Tunisia 21-14 after a heavy loss against Samoa by 7-38 in the tournament's opening game this morning.

Scotland have qualified for the Cup quarter-finals in the IRB Sevens World Series tournament in George, South Africa. They did it this afternoon by beating Australia 21-10 and Tunisia 21-14 after a heavy loss against Samoa by 7-38 in the tournament's opening game this morning.

It is the seventh successive IRB World Series tournament in which the Scots have reached the last eight of the top-flight competition. That sequence began 10 months ago in the San Diego tournament.

Stephen Gemmell, Scotland's coach, was naturally delighted. "It's an outstanding achievement considering the age of the squad and also in the way they came back after a heavy defeat,"he commented.

Scotland's quarter-final opponents will be host nation South Africa, who beat Argentina 24-7, Uganda 41-0, and Wales 31-0 on the way to the last eight.

Colin Gregor scored 29 of the Scots' 49 points today with three tries and seven conversions. More than half of his day's tally came in the match against Tunisia, Gregor scoring two tries and kicking three conversions. The Glasgow Warriors stand-off has now scored 333 points in 21 major international tournaments.

But it was a try by 18-year-old Chris Fusaro, the youngest member of the squad, who set the Scots on the way to the win against Australia. Gregor converted, but the Australians came back, cutting the Scots to a two-point lead at the interval and then going ahead at 10-7 early in the second half.

However, Scotland responded with tries by Richie Vernon and Stevie McColl. Gregor converted both.

"They had a lot more belief in themselves," commented Gemmell in comparing that win against Australia with the defeat by Samoa. "They're back where they were last weekend."

Scotland still needed to beat Tunisia to be sure of being in the last eight of the Cup competition. But that game did not start well as they fell behind early on. A Ruaridh Jackson score led the Scots' reply, and Gregor followed up with a try in each half. He converted all three tries, and the Scots were 21-7 up before Tunisia got their second try with only a minute left.

A week ago the Scots reached the Dubai Cup quarter-finals before falling against Samoa in the Plate semi-finals. They were confident going into the rematch this morning, the opening game of the George tournament, and all seemed to be well when Gregor opened the scoring with a try that he converted. But Samoa responded with six tries, three in each half.

However, immediately after that defeat the Scots were given a boost when Australia and Tunisia drew 12-all. The door to the Cup quarter-finals was ajar again. The Scots were determined to push it wide open... and they did it.

Scotland's quarter-final opponents will be known after later results this evening.

Tomorrow's quarter-final line-up with kick-off times (GMT):

New Zealand v USA (9.42am)
Samoa v Argentina (10.04)
South Africa v Scotland (10.26)
Fiji v Kenya (10.48)