The Rugby World Cup 7s started with a win for Scotland 7s, but it didn’t come easy with the score ending 19-17 versus Japan.
The Scots scored early, with a fairytale start for 19 year-old Chris Dean, who powered through the tackle of his opposite man and in over the line on his debut. Soon after Andrew Turnbull went in for his first score of the tournament.
At half-time the Scots went in 12-0 up. Early in the second period Michael Fedo concluded the try count. The scores on either side of half-time were converted by captain Colin Gregor.
Head coach, Stephen Gemmell, said: “Overall there is relief, but we’re disappointed how we got the win. In the end of the day it’s a Rugby World Cup 7s win though.
“We scored a good try early on then reverted to playing as individuals, but then got our shape back and scored a couple more times. Ultimately, we gave Japan an opportunity and they came back into it.
“This really was a game of two halves! We need to apply our game throughout the 30 minutes we have tomorrow. We know we can play better than that.
“Your tournament can be over at the end of day one, but we get onto the bus with another chance and we go home with a win.”
Despite the 19-0 lead with five minutes to go on the clock, Japan lifted their game and competed physically at the breakdown, this saw them exploit gaps in the Scots defence and match our try count, with tries from Lote Tuqiri, Shota Emi and Kosuke Hashino.
Scotland 7s were almost in with two minutes left on the clock when Gregor spotted space behind the Japanese line. He chipped through and Fedo won the chase but he wasn’t quite able to scoop up the ball.
The Scots are next up against hosts Russia, who went down to South Africa, 31-0 this evening, at 10.02am (BST) tomorrow.
Rugby World Cup 7s – Moscow 2013
Scotland 7s 19-17 Japan 7s
Tries: Chris Dean, Andrew Turnbull and Michael Fedo
Conversions: Colin Gregor (2)
Starting team: Michael Fedo, Scott Riddell, Colin Shaw, Alex Glashan, Colin Gregor, Chris Dean and Andrew Turnbull.
Subs: Mark Robertson, Struan Dewar (10mins), James Johnstone (13mins), Jim Thompson and Michael Maltman (not used).