Scotland to face Auld Enemy in Port Elizabeth Bowl competition

Scotland 7s were unable to back up last weekend's qualification for the Dubai Cup quarter-finals as they suffered three defeats on day one at the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s in Port Elizabeth.

Tomorrow, they move into the Bowl quarter-finals where they’ll meet England at 9.55am (UK time).

At times today the side played some good quality rugby which resulted in some well taken tries, however simple errors saw them lose out to their Group A opponents.

The scores were, 12-33 v France, 19-31 against Australia and 12-29 against the Dubai champions, Fiji, despite leading12-10 at half-time.

Scotland 7s head coach, Stephen Gemmell, said: “We’re disappointed overall. I have said to the players when we give away simple scores we make life very difficult for ourselves.

A key focus for us is improving our defence. Today it wasn’t good enough, either collectively or when players were one on one. If you miss tackles at this level you get punished, like we did in all three games.

“When we have ball we look dangerous. We have to take confidence from our attacking game, but it still comes back to the need to defend better, because in all three games we’ve conceded 30 points; scoring that many points shouldn’t be easy.

“We have a tough game coming up tomorrow against England and if we don’t improve defensively we will have the same outcome.”

South Africa 7s - day one:

Alex Glashan v France in South AfricaScotland 21-33 France

Despite tries from youngsters Alex Glashan and Gregor Young and a 130th for Andrew Turnbull, a lack of possession saw Scotland lose-out to their first opponents in Port Elizabeth. 

France scored in the first two minutes, from Paul Albaladejo, but Scotland responded quickly with a break from Mark Robertson and some simple hands that saw Glashan finish off the move and Colin Gregor level things out. (7-7)

At half-time the French led 26-7, with a further three tries touched down by Julien Candelon, claiming two, and Vincent Deniau. Albaladejo converted three of the first-half scores.

Scotland picked up in the second period and when Young found himself in space, just shy of two minutes in, the Jedburgh man didn't disappoint, touching down for his second World Series score. Gregor converted. (14-26)

In the following minutes possession changed hands regularly, but Scotland were hopeful with a real chance to come back. However, France were the first to capitalise, this time Manoel Dall Igna ran in for a fifth French try. Albaladejo converted and the victory seemed certain. (14-33)

This left Scotland, lagging with a minute left on the clock. Turnbull hadn't given up though, knowing that every point matters in sevens. The French knocked on in the middle of the park and the gas-man scooped up the loose ball and ran in a third score for Scotland. Gregor took a quick conversion in the hope there would be time to have another crack at the line, but the restart was lost and the match ended, 21-33.

Tries: Alex Glashan, Gregor Young and Andrew Turnbull
Conversions: Colin Gregor (3)
Starting team: Scott Riddell, Alex Glashan, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, John Houston, Joseva Nayacavou and Lee Jones.
Replacements: Gregor Young (7mins), Mark Bennett (8mins), Andrew Turnbull (11mins), Michael Maltman (12mins) and Jack Ferguson (13mins).

Colin Gregor v Australia in South Africa

Scotland 19-31 Australia

Showing more grit and determination in game two of the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s, the Scots were one, converted, try in the game with a minute left on the clock. However, basic errors saw their opponents ultimately take the victory.

At half-time all was to play for as the Scots trailed 19-12, following a first World Series try for Mark Bennett and Lee Jones touching down just after the hooter.

Australia scored quickly in the second-half, through Luke Morahan, and despite some resilient defence and another try for Colin Gregor, not enough was done to move ahead. At the death Australia's Shannon Walker touched down for his second score. James Stannard's conversion completed the scoring. The game ended 31-19.

Tries: Mark Bennett, Lee Jones and Colin Gregor
Conversions: Colin Gregor (2)
Starting team: Scott Riddell, Gregor Young, Alex Glashan, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Mark Bennett and Lee Jones.
Replacements: Andrew Turnbull (10mins), Michael Maltman, Joseva Nayacavou, John Houston (all 11mins) and Jack Ferguson (13mins).

Mark Bennett v Fiji in South Africa

Scotland 12-29 Fiji

Scotland 7s led the Dubai champions at half-time in their final game of day one in Port Elizabeth (12-10), but then slumped to a 29-12 defeat.

There were some real glimpses of hope throughout the game, notably Mark Bennett's solo try-saving tackle. The turnover then resulted in the Glasgow Warrior crossing the whitewash, under the posts at the other end of the park. 

Also scoring for the Scots in the first-half was Andrew Turnbull. Gregor converted Bennett's try.

In the second-half the Scots were once again, hurt by simple errors. This saw Jona Tuitoga, Samu Saqiwa and Leo Naikasau all cross for tries that ensured the victory. 

Scotland now move into the Bowl quarter-finals where they'll play England tomorrow. 

Tries: Andrew Turnbull and Mark Bennett
Conversion: Colin Gregor
Starting team: Scott Riddell, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Andrew Turnbull, Joseva Nayacavou, Mark Bennett and Jack Ferguson.
Replacements: John Houston (7mins), Gregor Young, Michael Maltman (both 12mins), Alex Glashan and Lee Jones (not used).