Epic Encounter Electrifies Edinburgh Crowd

Scotland answered the question - and then some - as to just why sevens is such a thrilling game, at the end of an epic Plate semi final against Fiji, that the home side won 19-14. Taking on arguably the world's most exciting sevens side, Scotland withstood the pressure of their opponents, and the expectations of the home crowd, to progress to their first Plate final place in three years. After over twelve minutes of extra time!


Speaking after the game, Scotland sevens coach Stephen Gemmell said, "That was unbelievable. We had it, then we lost it then we tried to lose it again, what a rollercoaster ride. I'm finding it difficult to find the words to describe how I'm feeling. Credit to our guys. They really put out a statement about Scotland sevens."


On the support his side received from the stands, Stephen added, "The crowd has been incredible. That beat the experience of beating South Africa last year and reminded me of the Calcutta Cup win when Duncan Hodge slid over in the wet conditions here at Murrayfield._x001D_"

Scotland made things difficult for themselves at the start as they jittered their way to their first score, Mike Adamson eventually finding the whitewash with Colin Gregor converting.

It was up to Fiji to force their way through the Scotland defence and it was going to take a moment of individual brilliance to break it.

Setefano Cakau showed his out and out pace to burn up the right wing and offload to Vereimi Nakuta who touched down. Liavi Satala converted as half-time approached.

The second half didn't start according to the script as Chris Fusaro struggled to hold onto the ball in the wet conditions.

Despite the Fusaro fumble, Scotland persisted and were rewarded when Andrew Turnbull nipped through the defence, sidestepping the last defender, to put the Scots ahead in the closing minutes. Mike Adamson converted.

However, the game took one of many twists in the final minute of play. A cut move left Jim Thompson helpless and Marika Vunibaka beat Laidlaw to the line despite the best efforts of replacement Ben Addison who gave chase right to the death. Satala converted.

With the score tied at full time, rugby sevens goes into periods of five minutes to determine the winner. As many periods of five minutes are played until a winner is decided and the first team to score is victorious.

With that in mind, Scotland were put through the mill both physically and mentally.

Tensions running high, Greig Laidlaw tried to seal the victory with a drop goal, but his attempt was both wide and short.

Fiji gathered Laidlaw's attempt and stormed up-field, a move that saw Jim Thompson make the try-saving tackle of the year. With so much at stake, Thompson managed to catch his man and bring him to ground, forcing the ball to be dislodged before he could reach the try-line only a metre away.

In the second period of extra time, Scotland were victorious, but Fiji wasn't going to give up without a fight.

Mike Adamson was on his way to the line, before Fiji put in a carbon copy of Thompson's try-saving tackle as Adamson was brought down on the same spot and the ball was dislodged.

But Scotland then worked the ball right and Addison touched down for the vital score which clinched Scotland's first win over Fiji in 16 encounters and a result that took them through to the Plate final against South Africa.

Scotland 7s: Scott Forrest, Colin Shaw, Chris Fusaro, Colin Gregor, Mike Adamson, Greig Laidlaw, Andrew Turnbull
Substitutes: Jim Thompson for Gregor, Addison for Turnbull, Steve Lawrie for Shaw, Turbull for Thompson for Turnbull

Fiji 7s: Sailosi Rabonaqica, Seremaia Burotu, Stefano Cakau, Viliame Maya, Emosi Vucago, Iliavi Satala, Vereimi Nakuta