Scotland 7s new boy, Craig Gossman, has shown a good strike rate on his first outing with the abbreviated national team by scoring three tries on day one in the second leg of the FIRA-AER GP European Sevens Series in Moscow.
Gossman was equalled on the score sheet by Aberdeen Grammar back, Callum Anderson. He applied his previous sevens knowledge with another three well worked scores.
On a day where the Scots recorded two victories and two losses over Italy (31-7) and Portugal (20-5) and Germany (19-24) and Spain (21-24), respectively, head coach Graham Shiel was able to gain further insight into the bright, young talents from the club game who could earn further involvement with Scotland 7s in the forthcoming season.
He said: “It was hugely disappointing and frustrating at the start of the day but the players have taken away a lot from the challenge.
“The win against Portugal was important for the squad. This showed we were able to compete with a very strong team and sevens nation
“We open against France tomorrow and it’s very important that we start off well. They are a quality side, so we will have to be at our best. They are unbeaten today and arguably one of the best sides in the tournament, so this is a great opportunity for the players to pitch themselves against a World Series team
“The great thing about FIRA this year is that it has given us an opportunity to provide players in the domestic game a chance to step up in sevens. It’s been really positive so far as it’s exposing them to a more challenging level of sevens and is improving their understanding of the game. They are excellent to work with and are responding very well to the challenge.”
It was a frustrating start for the Scots losing out to Germany, a relatively unknown rugby nation, three tries to four, despite quickly taking the lead in the first half. The scorers were Fraser Brown, Ross Miller and Rory Hughes with one try each. Andrew Skeen added two conversions.
The second match against Italy was an improvement and this time the Scots commanded the bulk of the game. On this occasion Colin Goudie, Skeen, Miller, Gossman and Greig Ryan all touched down, with Skeen adding three conversions.
Match three and the Scots slumped again. This led to them losing out to Spain 24-21. Gossman scored his second try and Anderson crossed the whitewash twice. Skeen converted all three.
The day ended better though with a convincing win over Portugal, 20-5. Both Anderson and Gossman completed their hat-tricks and were joined on the try sheet by Skeen and Jack Ferguson.
The Scots will open day two in Moscow against France at 8.06am (BST), before moving into the knockout stages.