Scots Return Home From South Africa 7S

The Scotland 7s team will return home today after some improved performances at the Emirates Airline South Africa 7s at the weekend.  Despite winning only one of their six games over the two days of competition, their progress from the Dubai tournament a fortnight ago was evident as they advanced to the final of the Shield competition. The final game was described as "a game too far" for the players who had to battle hard against a Zimbabwean side that had already registered a win over the Scots on day one of the tournament.

 

Full details and reaction from Scotland 7s coach on all the weekend's action is described below.

DAY 1 - POOL GAME 1
SCOTLAND  0,  FIJI 31
The Scotland 7s team lost to one of the most potent sides on the IRB Sevens World Series on day one of the South Africa Sevens.

Fiji sat second in the overall standings after the Dubai Sevens and also finished in the top two over the past four years. However, Scotland coach Stephen Gemmell said his side showed signs of improvement from the Dubai tournament.

“It was a tough opener but the boys played more rugby in that game than they did all last weekend,” he said. “We kept the ball well and created one or two good opportunities. Once again, it just came down to the contact area and one or two individual errors. It’s certainly given us something to work with.”

Scotland 7s team v Fiji 7s: Fraser McKenzie (Edinburgh Rugby), Roddy Grant (West of Scotland)* CAPTAIN, Colin Shaw (Glasgow Warriors), Graham Hogg (Hawick)*, Rory Hutton (Hawick)*, Andrew Easson (Edinburgh Rugby), Grant Anderson (Ayr)*
Substitutes: Chris Fusaro (Heriot’s)* for McKenzie, Ashleah McCulloch (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby)** for Hogg, Struan Dewar (Heriot’s)** for Colin Shaw (Glasgow Warriors)

Day 1: Pool game 2

Argentina 14, Scotland 0

The Scotland 7s team pushed Argentina close in their second outing at the Emirates Airline South Africa 7s.  There were no points on the scoreboard at half-time but Argentina struck twice in the second half, converting both scores, to seal the victory.

Coach Stephen Gemmell said: “It’s an improvement once again. We pushed a team seeded above us and that’s what it’s all about.  Despite the score-line, we’re certainly heading in the right direction.”

Scotland 7s team v Argentina 7s: Colin Shaw (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Fusaro (Heriot’s)*, Roddy Grant (West of Scotland)* CAPTAIN, Graham Hogg (Hawick)*, Rory Hutton (Hawick)*, Andrew Easson (Edinburgh Rugby), Grant Anderson (Ayr)*
Substitutes: Tom Bury (Boroughmuir)** for Anderson, Struan Dewar (Heriot’s)** for Shaw, Chris Kinloch (Glasgow Warriors) for Easson

Day 1 - Pool game 3

Scotland 7, Zimbabwe 17

The Scotland 7s team ended another disappointing day at the office with a loss to Zimbabwe on day one of the Emirates Airline South Africa 7s.

Captain Roddy Grant made the score-sheet in the first half once Zimbabwe had opened with a converted try. Rory Hutton converted Grant’s touch down.  An unconverted try from the Africans gave them the edge at half-time. A further unconverted try sealed the win for Zimbabwe.

After the game, coach Stephen Gemmell said: “Again, there were some better points but there were still far too many individual errors.  We missed too many tackles and lost the ball in contact, when you mistakes like that at this level you get punished.  Over the piece our performances were better than last week but still just not good enough.”

Scotland 7s team v Zimbabwe 7s: Colin Shaw (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Fusaro (Heriot s)*, Roddy Grant (West of Scotland)* CAPTAIN, Graham Hogg (Hawick)*, Rory Hutton (Hawick)*, Grant Anderson (Ayr)*, Tom Bury (Boroughmuir)**
Substitutes: Ashleah McCulloch (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby)** for Hutton

Day 2 - Bowl quarter final

Scotland 15, Kenya 19

Scotland 7s coach Stephen Gemmell described this Bowl quarter-final clash against Kenya as a ‘much improved performance’ as his side lost their grip of an elusive victory in the dying minutes.  Scotland took the early initiative, scoring through Andrew Easson, before Kenya struck back with a converted try straight after.

The Scots went back in front before the break with another try from Easson, this time Graham Hogg slotting the conversion, to go in ahead at half-time.  Kenya struck first in the second period to level the score before Scotland put themselves within reach of their first win of the weekend.

A penalty with only 90 second on the clock seemed to be enough, but that’s still a long time in rugby sevens.  Scotland’s re-start bounced on the ten metre line before Kenya collected and ran the length of the field to touch down. The successful conversion was the final blow.

After the game, Gemmell added: “It was probably our best performance over the last two weekends. It was disappointing to lose in the manner that we did, but there were a lot of positives we can take from that game.”

Scotland 7s team v Kenya 7s: Roddy Grant (West of Scotland)* CAPTAIN, Chris Fusaro (Heriot s)*, Colin Shaw (Glasgow Warriors), Graham Hogg (Hawick)*, Rory Hutton (Hawick)*, Andrew Easson (Edinburgh Rugby), Tom Bury (Boroughmuir)**
Substitutes: Fraser McKenzie (Edinburgh Rugby) for Fusaro

Day 2 Shield semi final

 

Scotland 17, Georgia 12

The Scotland 7s team defeated Georgia to progress to the Shield final where they will face Zimbabwe for the second time in 24 hours. Georgia were first to touch down, but it was Andrew Easson who got Scotland s first try. Graham Hogg added the conversion to give Scotland the edge.

However, a converted try late in the first half brought Georgia into the lead and ultimately an advantage at half-time. Scotland denied their opponents any further opportunities to score in the second half, only to run in two tries of their own - one from Tom Bury and the second from Roddy Grant.

Coach Stephen Gemmell said: “It was better in bits again. The boys have shown improvement in the games today so it s nice to get a little reward with the win.”

Scotland 7s team v Georgia 7s: Colin Shaw (Glasgow Warriors), Roddy Grant (West of Scotland)* CAPTAIN, Fraser McKenzie (Edinburgh Rugby), Rory Hutton (Hawick)*, Graham Hogg (Hawick)*, Andrew Easson (Edinburgh Rugby), Tom Bury (Boroughmuir)**
Substitutes: Struan Dewar (Heriot’s)** for McKenzie, Ashleah McCulloch (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby)** for Hogg, Chris Kinloch (Glasgow Warriors) for Bury

Day 2 Shield semi final

Scotland 0, Zimbabwe 26

The Scotland 7s team lost to Zimbabwe in the Shield final of the Emirates Airline South Africa Sevens. The squad will now return home before preparations begin in earnest ahead of the next two tournaments in Wellington and San Diego and ultimately the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai in March.

Coach Stephen Gemmell said: “It was a disappointing performance. We improved a lot today but that last game was just a game too far in terms of fitness and accuracy.”

Scotland 7s team v Zimbabwe 7s: Roddy Grant (West of Scotland)* CAPTAIN, Colin Shaw (Glasgow Warriors), Fraser McKenzie (Edinburgh Rugby), Graham Hogg (Hawick)*, Rory Hutton (Hawick)*, Andrew Easson (Edinburgh Rugby), Tom Bury (Boroughmuir)**

Substitutes: Struan Dewar (Heriot’s)** for McKenzie, Ashleah McCulloch (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby)** for Hogg, Chris Kinloch (Glasgow Warriors) for Bury

Scotland 7s squad for the Emirates Airline South Africa Sevens on 5 & 6 December: Roddy Grant (West of Scotland)* CAPTAIN, Struan Dewar (Heriot’s)**, Colin Shaw (Glasgow Warriors), Fraser McKenzie (Edinburgh Rugby), Chris Fusaro (Heriot’s)*, Ashleah McCulloch (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby)**, Tom Bury (Boroughmuir)**, Rory Hutton (Hawick)*, Andrew Easson (Edinburgh Rugby), Graham Hogg (Hawick)*, Grant Anderson (Ayr)*, Chris Kinloch (Glasgow Warriors)

* = Member of Scottish Rugby’s National Academy
** = Member of Scottish Rugby’s Area Institute Supported National Academy

The Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s is the eighth and final leg of the IRB Sevens World Series. It will be held at Murrayfield on 30 and 31 May 2009.

Tickets sales information will be announced shortly - log on to www.edinburgh7s.com for more information.

Rugby Sevens will be one of the showpiece events of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.