Last Gasp Fiji Double Denies Scots Historic Semi Final Slot

Fiji scored a last minute double to deny Scotland an historic semi final place at the Twickenham leg of the IRB international sevens series cup. Scotland dominated the tie against a side currently six places above in the IRB 7s series but were punished by two late scores.

Fiji scored a last minute double to deny Scotland an historic semi final place at the Twickenham leg of the IRB international sevens series cup.

Scotland dominated the tie against a side placed third in the IRB 7s series but were punished by two late scores.

Scotland were first to score after Forrest's huge miss pass found Richie Vernon who galloped in from the 22 to score under the posts to the delight of the crowd. Gregor failed to capitalise on an easy kick in front of the sticks, 5-0.

Fiji equalised moments later when, despite some excellent tackling to hold them at bay, too many committed Scottish players gifted Fiji the overlap out wide. Iliav Satala offered the pass to the man in space and strode in through the gap for a converted try.

Half time: 5-7

Scotland had it all to do in the second half and got the start they needed when Jim Thompson's break put the Fiji defense heavily under pressure. Thomson showed great composure to slow his run and bring Turnbull in to play who fed Colin Shaw in space for a calculated trot across the line. Gregor's conversion put Scotland ahead, 12-7.

Scotland looked set to book their place in the semis when Vernon held off two Fijians on the touch line to offload to a supporting Colin Gregor who jinked twice to fool the two tracking Fijians before flicking a wonderfully cheeky reverse pass over his head to Thomson whose dive for the line capped off a magnificent try that had the crowd on their feet. Gregor's kick looked set to add the extras but rebounded painfully off the upright, 17-7.

As the game neared an end Scotland looked destined to book a place in the semis but Marika Vunibalka slotted through a gap in midfield to bring the game back in to contention with a converted try, 17-14.

Scottish hopes of semi final were shattered as a Fiji penalty just inside the Scottish 22 was taken quickly and played short amongst the big men isolating several Scots before feeding to Sailosi who battered through with no time left to play. The missed kick was inconsequential.

Full time: 17-19

Scotland coach, Stevie Gemmell, said: "I couldn't have asked them to give anymore, they came out there and showed that we can compete at this level in international sevens but you have to learn to close games like that down when you're 12 points up.

It's a massive disappointment but I'm really proud of how to push one of the top teams in the world but if you make a mistake against Fiji they're gong to punish you."

Scotland now face a tough test against South Africa in the semi final of the plate after they were beaten by Argentina 12-0.

We've now all got the responsibility to get our heads up, we've got South Africa next, it doesn't get any easier but hopefully that's going to make people back home sit up. We saw what happened when the crowd got behind England and the same thing could happen next week_x001D_, added Gemmell.

Scotland 1st VII
1 Scott Forrest CAPTAIN
2 Colin Shaw
5 Jim Thompson
8 Colin Gregor
10 Greig Laidlaw
11 Andrew Turnbull
12 Richie Vernon

Replacements
3 Stevie Lawrie
4 Grant Anderson
6 Chris Fusaro
7 Ben Addison
9 Michael Adamson

Fiji 1st VII
1 Marika Vunibaka
2 Sailosi Rabonaqica
3 Seremaia Burotu
6 Emosi Vucago
9 Rutunaisa Narukutabua
10 Timoci Matanavou

Replacements
4 Setefano Cakau
5 Viliame Maya
8 Nasoni Roko
11 Tomasi Mawi
12 Vereimi Nakuta