Scotland 7s will meet south-sea-islanders, Tonga, in tomorrow’s HSBC Sevens World Series qualifying quarter-final at 10.06am on Twickenham’s main pitch.
Scotland 7s topped their group today after victories against Georgia (29-0) and Zimbabwe (21-14), but didn’t top the reseeding after losing their last game to Hong Kong, 20-19. Portugal came out top seeds having won all three of their matches.
Tomorrow, when Scotland run out against Tonga there will be no other option than to win to secure their World Series core status, because the tournament will be a straight knock out competition. If they do win their match they will go into a semi-final with Zimbabwe or Russia.
Scotland 7s head coach, Stephen Gemmell, said: “We wanted to be in the top half of the draw today and that’s where we are.
“We knew, no matter what, that our first game tomorrow would be tough. Tonga will be very physical, they carry the ball hard and they have shown they can beat higher ranked teams.
“We need to give everything we have got against them, we need to be more aggressive and show our desire to win. Every team is fighting for their lives now. I have belief in our players, but they have to show they want it.
“Tomorrow there will be no second chances so we will have to front up. You can see how massive a place in the World Series is to every team in this qualifying tournament.”
All tomorrow’s qualifying matches will take place on the main pitch at Twickenham.
Scotland 7s began day one of the London 7s with a 29-0 win over Georgia in the World Series qualifying tournament.
After Lee Jones opened the scoring in the first minute, tries from Michael Fedo (5mins), Colin Shaw (9mins), Scott Riddell (11mins) and James Fleming (13mins) followed in the match. Captain Colin Gregor converted the second and fourth score.
Head coach, Stephen Gemmell, said: “It’s great to get our first victory today. We were nervy at times, but that was to be expected.
“We have started how we needed to start, one of one so far! We need to build on this and move forward going into our next game versus Zimbabwe.”
Starting team: Scott Riddell, Michael Fedo, Lee Jones, Colin Gregor, Colin Shaw, Alex Glashan and Byron McGuigan.
Subs: James Fleming, Chris Dean, Michael Maltman, Struan Dewar (10mins) and Andrew Turnbull (13mins).
Scotland 7s’ second match of day one at London 7s was a tough affair, with Zimbabwe making their World Series hopes very clear from the off.
The Scots opponents were on the board early with two tries and two conversions, but a last minute score in the first half from Scott Riddell, converted by Colin Gregor, refocused the squad.
They then showed character in the second-half with two tries from Gregor and Lee Jones in quick succession; the captain converted both.
However, Zimbabwe won the ball back, with five minutes to go and proceeded to attack the Scots line for the remainder of the match. Enough was done to keep them out though.
Head coach, Stephen Gemmell, said: “It’s another win and we’ve put ourselves in the position we want to be at this stage.
“You can see how massive a place in the World Series is to every team in this qualifying tournament. Hong Kong will not be easy next, but we have to play with confidence from the first second of the match.”
Starting team: Scott Riddell, Michael Fedo, Struan Dewar, Lee Jones, Colin Gregor, Andrew Turnbull and Byron McGuigan.
Subs: James Fleming, Michael Maltman (12mins) Colin Shaw, Chris Dean and Alex Glashan (not used).
A spirited Hong Kong side ended Scotland 7s’ hopes of winning three matches from three on day one of the London 7s HSBC Sevens World Series qualifying tournament.
The Scots fell behind early in the first half but found inspiration when Chris Dean scored a length-of-the-field try. Moments later Alex Glashan won the kick-off and touched down under the sticks to give Scotland the lead at the break (14-5).
Hong Kong again scored quickly in the second period, but a Scott Riddell try, ten minutes in, pushed the Scots ahead. However, two late Hong Kong tries saw the Scots' opponents pip the victory on the hooter.
Head coach, Stephen Gemmell, said: “This is a wake up call that we needed. Hong Kong looked like they needed it more than we did.
“Tomorrow there are no second chances. We have finished in the top half of the draw today so we’re still in the position we hoped to be.
“I rotated the team for the last game and gave players a chance but they didn’t take it, that is a lesson for me. Tomorrow we have to front up."
Starting team: Scott Riddell, Colin Gregor, James Fleming, Colin Shaw, Chris Dean, Alex Glashan and Byron McGuigan
Subs: Struan Dewar (7mins), Michael Maltman (10mins), Andrew Turnbull (11mins), Michael Fedo and Lee Jones (not used).