Sharp Thistles Triumph On Celebration Day

Scottish Thistles, the Scotland 7s development team, bounced back from disappointment on the international stage to write their names into the history books at the birthplace of rugby sevens this afternoon. The Thistles won the 125th anniversary Mathon Melrose Sevens capturing the silverware with a supremely professional display that simply wrote the hitherto fancied Leicester Tigers out of the equation.

Scottish Thistles, the Scotland 7s development team, bounced back from disappointment on the international stage to write their names into the history books at the birthplace of rugby sevens this afternoon.

The Thistles won the 125th anniversary Mathon Melrose Sevens capturing the silverware with a supremely professional display that simply wrote the hitherto fancied Leicester Tigers out of the equation.

Thistles won the final 33-12 and so dominated possession that Leicester were forced to live off scraps. The Scots' work at restarts was exemplary and if some scalding pace can be added to the mix then they will be mighty dangerous opponents come the IRB World Series events next month, culminating in the Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s at Murrayfield.

The Scots' coach Stephen Gemmell said: "Most of the guys just got back from the tournament in Adelaide on Tuesday and really haven't done anything this week at all.

We knew it would probably take us a game to get into the tournament but we improved pretty much constantly from the second-half of our first match against Currie and showed in the semi-final and final that if you keep ball in the game of sevens it's very difficult for the opposition regardless of who they are."

Gemmell spoke of how inspiring it had proved for his charges to be invited to compete in the tournament that started the abbreviated game - all the fundraising brainchild of butcher Ned Haig some 125 years ago.

It was a massive honour to be invited to compete here. I hope the boys take confidence from this and hopefully that gives them a boost as we look forward to London and Edinburgh._x001D_

Thistles had the longer break before the final, Leicester having had to work harder than the 31-7 scoreline suggested to see off the spirited Melrose side in their semi-final.

But with the kick-offs being struck like clockwork by Ali Warnock and Richie Vernon rising highest to win ball, the Thistles monopolised early possession.

Warnock's brace of tries got the scoreboard moving for Thistles in the final. His first followed his own toe-ahead after Mike Adamson had threatened; and his second was borne of similar vision, again winning the race to his own kick ahead. Warnock converted his first try for a lead of 12-0.

Winger Ben Addison added try number three - it must be admitted from what seemed a forward pass from Warnock following a patient build-up and though Will Lawson stormed over for Leicester, the Thistles led 19-5 at the interval.

Second-half tries from scrum-half Greig Laidlaw and a cracking effort from Man of the Tournament Mike Adamson, both goaled by Warnock, were enough to render Ben Youngs' late try for Leicester a matter of academic interest.

Scottish Thistles: Scott Forrest (Ayr)* CAPTAIN, Mike Adamson (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Addison (Stirling County)*, Calum Forrester (GHA)*, Chris Fusaro (Heriot's)**, Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh), Colin Shaw (Glasgow Warriors), James Thompson (Heriot's)*, Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors), Ali Warnock (Edinburgh)

* = Member of Scottish Rugby's Senior National Academy
** = Member of Scottish Rugby's Junior National Academy and supported by Area Institute of Sport

Leicester Tigers: Gregor Gillanders, Tom Youngs captain, Vavae Tuilagi, Ben Youngs, Ignacio Mieres, Jack Cobden, Matt Smith, Dan Hemingway, Billy Twelvetrees, Will Lawson.

Referee: John Steele (Dumfries)

Melrose Sevens results


Final:

Scottish Thistles 33 Leicester Tigers 12

Semi-finals:

Scottish Thistles 21 Ulster President's VII 5

Leicester Tigers 31 Melrose 7

Quarter-finals:

Scottish Thistles 19 Roma 5

Ulster President's VII 26 Gold Coast Breakers 5

Second round:

Currie 7 Scottish Thistles 22

Dundee HSFP 12 Roma 19

Watsonians 5 Ulster President's V!! 28

Peebles 10 Gold Coast Breakers 36

Kelso 5 Leicester Tigers 40

Jed-Forest 24 Chinese Agricultural University 14

Melrose 24 Selkirk 0

Boroughmuir 12 Shimlas 17 (after extra-time)

First round:

Langholm 5 Currie 7

Dundee HSFP 24 Gala 5

Watsonians 28 West of Scotland 5

Peebles 21 Edinburgh Accies 7

Kelso 19 Heriot's 15

Jed-Forest 20 Hawick 17

Glasgow Hawks 7 Melrose 36

Ayr 0 Boroughmuir 33