Shield victory for Scotland in South Africa

Scotland 7s ended day two of the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s on a positive note, with victory in the Shield final.

The Scots, put the disappointment from day one and their opening game on day two v England, which they lost 19-7, behind them with wins over Spain (33-10) and Canada (19-12) in the Shield competition.

Once again, the side benefitted from the presence of Glasgow Warrior Mark Bennett, who showed a lot of flare in his first World Series outing.

Scotland 7s head coach, Stephen Gemmell said: “It has been a disappointing weekend, we have under performed. We said that after day one.

“There has been improvements today, but the harsh reality is we have had to operate in the bottom competition and that’s not where we want to be.

It’s good to finish with two wins, but that doesn’t cover over what has been a discouraging weekend for all in the squad.

“There is a lot of hard work to be done when we get back into training. We have to look hard at ourselves and keep improving the areas we’ve already identified, particularly our one-on-one and collective defence.” 

For captain Colin Gregor, there was a pleasing outcome this weekend, for him personally, as he was the first Scot to score 1000 World Series points and the eighth person in history to achieve the milestone.

He said: “It’s nice, it’s not something I’ve given too much thought to, but I’d quick happily give them all away to win a Cup final. Just now, it’s a team game and we as a group want to win. Maybe I’ll reflect on individual accolades when I retire.”

Scotland 7s now return to Scotland to prepare for the fourth and fifth legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Las Vegas (USA) and Wellington (New Zealand), respectively. The side will meet New Zealand, Fiji and Australia in Group B in Las Vegas.

South Africa 7s - day two

Scott Riddell v Canada in South Africa

Scotland 19-12 Canada

Scotland 7s ended their Nelson Mandela Bay 7s campaign on a high with a positive victory over Canada, 19-12, in the Shield final. 

An early try from Lee Jones, set the team up well and as with the game before they commanded play and led throughout. Scotland's scoring concluded in the first half with Scott Riddell touching down twice. The Scots led 19-0 at half-time.

In the second period Canda came back into it, with a brace of tries from playmaker, Phil Mack. But, Scotland closed them out, patiently working through the phases and ensuring they won the ball back quickly from Canada when they were on the attack. 

With, two wins to round-up the third leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, Scotland will go home, clear on where they want to be come January and the Las Vegas 7s.

Tries: Lee Jones and Scott Riddell (2)
Conversions: Colin Gregor (2)
Starting team: Scott Riddell, Alex Glashan, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Joseva Nayacavou, Mark Bennett and Lee Jones.
Replacements: Gregor Young (7mins), Michael Maltman (11mins), Andrew Turnbull (12mins), John Houston and Jack Ferguson (not used).

Lee Jones v Spain in South Africa

Scotland 33-10 Spain (Shield semi-final)

Scotland 7s won their first game in the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s in the Shield semi-finals, against Spain, 33-10. 

The side scored five tries from Gregor Young, Alex Glashan, Mark Robertson, Lee Jones and Andrew Turnbull in a confidence display of sevens rugby. 

But, there were mixed emotions all round as the team finally came into their own, but so late in the competition. They now move into the Shield final where they'll meet Canada at 5.43pm (SA time) and 3.43pm (UK time).  

With a 14-7 advantage at half-time and a very quick score from Robertson in the second period, the Scots were sure of their game plan and never let their lead slip up, something that will be essential against Canada. 

Tries: Gregor Young, Alex Glashan, Mark Robertson, Lee Jones and Andrew Turnbull
Conversions: Colin Gregor (4)
Starting team: Scott Riddell, Alex Glashan, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Joseva Nayacavou, Gregor Young and Lee Jones.
Replacements: Michael Maltman (8mins), Andrew Turnbull (9mins), Jack Ferguson (10mins), John Houston and Mark Bennett (notu used).

Mark Bennett v England in South Africa

Scotand 7-19 England (Bowl quarter-final)

It was seven points a piece at half-time in this match, following an opening try from Lee Jones, converted by Colin Gregor, and England's Phil Burgress, converted by Tom Mitchell. 

The Scots looked good with ball in hand and at times applied great pressure as they worked through the hands. However, as with day one, when they lost the ball their opposition reacted quickly and scored.

Glasgow Warrior Mark Bennett stood out again, with his powerful and confident running and on two occassions was inches away from scoring. First a tackle from the covering English defender caught him off guard and the ball went loose and secondly he was knocked into touch in his final stride. 

In the second-half, despite some very good scramble defence, Tom Mitchell managed to find a way over the line and move England ahead, before a simple counter-attacking try, from Dan Norton put them out of reach.

The Scots now move into the Shield semi-final where they'll play Spain at 14.39pm (SA time) / 12.39pm (UK time).

Try: Lee Jones
Conversion: Colin Gregor
Starting team: Scott Riddell, Alex Glashan, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Joseva Nayacavou, Mark Bennett and Lee Jones.
Replacements: Gregor Young, Michael Maltman (both 10mins), Andrew Turnbull, Jack Ferguson (both 13mins) and John Houston (not used).

South Africa 7s - day one:

 

Alex Glashan v France in South Africa

Scotland 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).