The recently formed Scotland women 7s squad, competing as Scotland Select, made their debut as a team at this weekend's Amsterdam 7s and recorded victories over South Africa, Wales and Germany while running the hosts close.
Head coach and former Scotland 7s captain, Scott Forrest said: "All in all it was a good weekend for our first time playing as a team. Steph Johnston, our captain, played in every minute of every game and was outstanding.
"We had three hard, very physical games on day one and to front up like we did against South Africa first thing this morning and win (10-5) was tremendous. The tries (from Sarah Dixon and Johnston) were outstanding individual scores."
Scotland's baptism of fire kicked off with an opening game, yesterday morning, against last weekend's IRB semi finalists, Australia who defeated them 30-0 followed by a much closer encounter with the hosts (20-10), Cup finalists at last weekend's Twickenham event. In the third pool game on day one, the hard work came to fruition with a comprehensive win (19-5) over the much-fancied German side.
Said Forrest: "That first game was a bit of a shock to the system but good for the team as it opened their eyes to the pace they were going to come up against over the weekend. We were caught out, with handling errors and basic mistakes and the girls did well to correct a lot of these things in the short time before the second game.
"They put in a great performance against the Netherlands, who are all full-time sevens players, and were right in the game from the start. We built some great phases in that match and our two tries were outstanding.
"People would have expected Germany to beat us, they're a very physical team, but we did the basics well and scored three solid tries."
Day two saw the pools reshuffled and though the Scots were out of the Cup competition, they faced two tough encounters against South Africa (Sc 10-5) and France (27-7 Sc) before the subsequent play-off match against the Welsh (Sc 12-0).
Forrest added: "The France game was disappointing. I made a few changes [from the previous game] as we needed to use this weekend to build towards World Cup qualification and I needed to see different combinations but it's been a learning curve for me as well as the girls. There were a couple of handling errors, they scored tries and our girls' heads went down."
Once all pool games had been played, Scotland then met Wales for a 3rd/4th place play-off in the boot competition. An evenly balanced first seven minutes saw the score 0-0 at half time, despite two good line-breaks from the Scots which they'd been unable to finish off.
Said Forrest: "We imposed our game on them in the second half, however, and got the result the girls deserved."
The squad continue their build-up with participation in next weekend's Rugby Rocks tournament in London before proceeding to the FIRA-AER WRWC qualifier firt round tournament in Ghent, Belgium on 9 and 10 June. Scotland have been pooled with Finland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Norway, Malta, Poland, Israel, Georgia and Serbia and must finish first or second in their group to proceed to the WRWC 2013 qualifier final in Moscow on 30 June and 1 July. The 2013 Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens take place in Moscow.
1 Susie Brown (Richmond)
2 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
3 Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
4 Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars)
5 Megan Gaffney (Murrayfield Wanderers)
6 Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers)
7 Sarah Dixon (Stirling County)
8 Katy Green (Murrayfield Wanderers)
9 Annabel Sergeant (Murrayfield Wanderers)
10 Stephanie Johnston (RHC Cougars)
11 Lauren Harris (Melrose)
12 Sarah Sexton (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Scotland Select results at Amsterdam 7s 2012
Scotland 0-30 Australia
Scotland 10-20 Netherlands (tries Johnston and Dixon)
Scotland 19-5 Germany (tries Johnston (2) and Dixon, convs Dalgliesh (2))
Scotland 10-5 South Africa (tries Green and Dixon)
Scotland 7-27 France (try Gaffney, conv Martin)
Scotland 12-0 Wales (tries Johnston and Dixon, conv Martin) (3rd in Boot competition)