Auld Enemy for Glasgow 7s

Scotland have been drawn in a pool alongside New Zealand, England and Portugal for the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s in May.

The draw for the tournament at Scotstoun, the eighth leg of the prestigious HSBC Sevens World Series, was conducted before today’s final of the Tokyo 7s in which Scotland finished in sixth place. Tickets are on sale now via www.glasgow7s.com for the two- day tournament on 4 and 5 May.

The full draw: 

Pool A: South Africa, Samoa, Kenya and Canada;Colin Gregor v Spain, Glasgow 2012

Pool B: New Zealand, Scotland, England and Portugal;

Pool C: Australia, Fiji, Argentina and Spain;

Pool D: France, USA, Wales and Russia.


 

The action in Japan today gave Scotland 12 ranking points and keeps them in 12th place in the overall series standings, ahead of the USA on points’ difference. A top 12 finish will guarantee Scotland they do not have to take part in a relegation play-off at the London tournament in mid-May.

Today, Scotland lost their Cup quarter-final to France (14-10); bounced back to defeat current fourth best team in the standings, Samoa, in their Plate semi-final (21-17), then, devoid of tempo, got sucked into an arm wrestle against the USA to lose the Plate final (0-17).

It was a disappointing end to a tournament where Scotland posted victories over Kenya, Wales and Samoa, drew with the USA, and then lost to France and the Americans in the knockout stages.

Indeed, Scotland have finished in the top six in three of the last four tournaments and it’s the start of the Series (Australia, Dubai and South Africa) in which they garnered in total only nine standings points, that has them immersed in the relegation mix.

Scotland head coach Stephen Gemmell said: “We’re in a position now where we have a tough draw in Glasgow and our day one target remains: Cup qualification. We are at home and we have to take advantage of that. We need a big home crowd behind us.

“We must front up. It will be a big month now for us as a group but we need to get everything right to give ourselves the opportunity.

“If we pull out six performances of the quality we’re capable of, we’ll be fine, but the key for us is consistency,” he added.

Today’s round-up

Cup quarter-final: Scotland 10 France 14

Starting Scotland team:

Michael Fedo, Darren Gillespie, Mark Robertson, Russell Weir, Colin Gregor, John Houston and James Johnstone; Subs used: James Fleming, Andrew Turnbull, Colin Shaw and Chris Dean.

Scotland trailed to an early converted French try before Darren Gillespie put their first points on the board with a try. France’s response saw them cross the whitewash again and, with the conversion, lead 14-5 at the break.

Into the 2nd half Scotland could not take advantage of a spell when France were man down due to a sin-binning but Mark Robertson did pull back a try with a minute remaining. Sadly, despite ball, Scotland could not manufacture another opportunity.

Gemmell said: “This was a really disappointing tie because we didn’t play as ourselves in the first half and then missed chances in the second.”

Plate semi-final: Scotland 21 Samoa 17

Starting Scotland team:

Michael Maltman, Chris Dean, Colin Shaw, Russell Weir, Colin Gregor, John Houston and Andrew Turnbull; Subs used: Michael Fedo, Mark Robertson, James Fleming and Darren Gillespie

Samoa claimed first blood in this tie, but this was to be Scotland’s best display of the weekend as the impressive Russell Weir and Colin Shaw crossed for first-half tries, both converted by Colin Gregor, to give Scotland a half-time lead of 14-5.

Samoa did pull back a converted try on the restart but a fifth minute riposte from Gregor, which he again converted, stretched Scotland to 21-12 and though Samoa crossed for their third try, Scotland closed out the game.

Plate final: Scotland 0 USA 17

Starting Scotland team:

Michael Maltman, Michael Fedo, Colin Shaw, Andrew Turnbull, Colin Gregor, John Houston and James Johnstone; Subs used: James Fleming, Mark Robertson, Darren Gillespie and Chris Dean

After trailing 0-5 at half-time, Scotland just could not inject any dynamism to this tie, which became bogged down in a test of strength, in which the USA were superior, going on to add two second-half tries.

Gemmell said: “When we don’t play our style of game, a result like this is the outcome. We’ve shown over the last four tournaments how good we can be, but when we’re off (our game) as we were here against the US, we get punished. We have to find consistency.”

Elsewhere in the Japan competition, South Africa won the Cup, USA the Plate, England the Bowl and Canada the Shield.