Scotland have one last lifeline to book their place in the Rugby World Cup 7s in Moscow next year. They must defeat Germany in the semi-final of the plate, then either Ukraine or Italy in the plate final of the Algarve sevens in Portugal tonight.
The “straight-forward” qualification route, a Cup quarter-final win, proved beyond the Scots as they lost 14-26 to France. Georgia, Portugal, France and Spain all secured their place in Moscow and will fight out the Cup semi-finals in the Algarve.
Scotland, without the injured Jim Thompson, opted for a starting line-up of Michael Fedo, Fraser Brown, Colin Shaw, Colin Gregor, Andrew Turnbull, Struan Dewar and Byron McGuigan.
Early possession did not yield any opening and from the moment that France were awarded a penalty they dominated territory.
A yellow card against Thibault Zambelli saw a French try ruled out and while the French were short-handed Fedo crossed for Scotland’s opening try, converted by Gregor. However, the French scored in first-half injury time for a 12-7 advantage and they never looked like surrendering it, extending their lead to 26-7 before James Fleming showed his blistering pace for a late try, Gregor again converting.
The Plate semi-final against Germany kicks-off at 7.56pm.