It all started with a try by Fiji’s Osea Kolinisau. Nine hours later and with the home crowd heartened by Scotland’s 100% showing the curtain came down on day one at the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s.
To borrow a phrase from the ever-vocal and exuberant Kenyan support “We want another one” when day two kicks-off at 10.30am tomorrow.
There was much for the 11,710 crowd at Scotstoun to enjoy today. Scotland were joined by New Zealand and Fiji as the only sides with three wins from the pool stages. Tomorrow for the home support the first focus will be Scotland’s Cup quarter-final tie against South Africa at 12.42pm.
Bowl Quarter-Finals: 10.30am: Samoa v USA; 10.52am: Argentina v Japan; 11.14am Spain v Portugal; 11.36am France v Wales.
11.58am: New Zealand v Australia; 12.20pm: Fiji v England; 12.42pm Scotland v South Africa; 1.04pm: Canada v Kenya.
Tickets are on sale tomorrow from 9am at Scotstoun from £20 for adults and £10 for children, students and senior citizens.
Back to today. Wales overcame a yellow card – the first of the day to Luke Morgan – to see off Kenya; Fiji battled back from a 5-17 deficit to also do the business against the east Africans; Seabelo Senatla showed the scorching pace on the South African wing that was such a feature of last year’s IRB Junior World Championship (and demonstrated he could defend, too, with a classic try-saving tackle against New Zealand); and Japan made a much better showing in their second outing, running England close until Tom Mitchell steadied matters for the men in white.
Canada, who are in Scotland’s pool at the Commonwealth Games, were orchestrated by the ever-smart Phil Mack, and courtesy of their 7-all draw with England and their half century against Japan, topped Pool B.
New Zealand gained revenge for their loss in last year’s final here at Scotstoun when they defeated the South Africans in their final pool match to top Pool A, tries from Adam Whitelock, Akira Ioane and Ben Lam doing the damage in that tie.
Mike Adamson continued his transition from gifted player to the man with the whistle. He followed his 38 caps for Scotland sevens by making his debut as a referee on the IRB circuit today and what an accomplished showing it was.
Off the pitch, your correspondent thought the house band, The Honeymoons’ rendition of “Walk like an Egyptian” was every bit as good as the Bangles’ from his youth and younger colleagues thought they would emulate some of the Elite Pro Dance routines later in the evening . . .
We also heard over the public address from three of the Glasgow Warriors’ victorious squad from Treviso last night, who had come hot-foot from the airport on their return from Italy to support the event – Fijians Niko Matawalu and Leone Nakarawa and try hat-trick hero, Scotland cap Tommy Seymour.
But let’s be honest, when Scotland qualify for the Cup quarter-finals (a first at Scotstoun and only replicated so far this season at Dubai) everything seems rosier, with the contribution of two of the Warriors’ clan, James Eddie and Richie Vernon, a source of considerable pride. How good it was, too, to witness Nick De Luca show good aerial skill at restarts and generally run with conviction.
There were the predictable pantomime “villains” – step forward the stewards who confiscated two large inflatable balls from the party stand (they did smile as the spheres were impounded mark you) – with even some of the press photographers entering into the spirit by showing nifty footwork to hoof the inflatables back into the stand.
From the Festival of Rugby, sponsored by the Daily Record, the High School of Dundee’s under-18 boys’ team accounted for GHA, 12-5, their Glaswegian opponents having knocked out the much-fancied George Watson’s College in the opening round.
The prize for both the HS of Dundee and GHA will be to take the stage at Ibrox as a curtain-raiser for the Commonwealth Games 7s in July, an occasion they can tell their grand-children about for sure. More on the Festival Rugby below.
Today’s Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s results:
Fiji 26 Argentina 7; Wales 24 Kenya 19; England 21 France 5; Canada 52 Japan 0; New Zealand 26 Samoa 7; South Africa 38 Portugal 0; Australia 7 Scotland 19; USA 7 Spain 17
Fiji 24 Kenya 17; Wales 17 Argentina 28; England 33 Japan 24; Canada 28 France 12; New Zealand 38 Portugal 0; South Africa 40 Samoa 0; Australia 36 Spain 7; USA 0 Scotland 26
Fiji 45 Wales 0; Argentina 19 Kenya 33; England 7 Canada 7; France 31 Japan 5; Samoa 28 Portugal 5; New Zealand 19 South Africa 5; Australia 34 USA 14; and Scotland 33 Spain 12.
The Daily Record Festival of Rugby, took place on Scotstoun’s 3G pitch, involving youngsters from across Scotland competing in a series of different competitions, showcasing the grassroots game in Scotland.
One of the main features in the year’s festival was that the two winners of the under-18 boys’ competition, The High School of Dundee and GHA, will play at Ibrox during the Commonwealth Games rugby sevens event on Sunday 27 July.
The two winners also met today on the Scotstoun main pitch following Scotland’s win over USA. In that tie, Dundee High School prevailed as 12-5 victors, their scores coming from Marshall Macleod and Chris Jolland - Duncan Leese converting the first of the tries. Euan McKirdy crossed the line for GHA’s only score.
The High School of Dundee captain, Chris Jollands, said: “We’ve had an absolutely brilliant day here at the Festival of Rugby, the atmosphere surrounding the whole sevens event has been phenomenal.
“Winning today has been the pinnacle of our sevens season, especially getting to play on the main pitch, that was a real honour.
“I don’t think that it has really sunk in that we will be playing at Ibrox during the Commonwealth Games, but to say that we were excited when talking about it before we came out to play would be an understatement.”
High School of Dundee: Angus Hadden, Callum Sinclair, Henry Sampson, Duncan Leese, Brewster White, Ronan Joy, Chris Jollands, Calum Archibald, Jamie Clarkson and Marshall Macleod.
GHA: Scott Plumridge, Alec Trew, Cameron McIlwham, Eoghan Summers, Zander Gregor, Matthew McShane, Thomas Brown, Euan McKirdy and Andrew Goudie.