Scots head into Tokyo 7s Cup competition

Scotland 7s have qualified for their fourth Cup quarter-final in this season’s HSBC Sevens World Series, which will help them establish a good standing for their home event next month, the Emirates Airline Rugby 7s at Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow.

Nyle Godsmark stood out against Portugal in TokyoOn day one in Tokyo, the Scots bounced back from a 38-0 defeat to New Zealand, before beating Australia, 14-12, and Portugal, 17-12, ensuring they will better their Bowl victory in Hong Kong last weekend.

Tomorrow, Scotland 7s will play circuit leaders South Africa at 3.42am (GMT, live on Sky Sports).

Head Coach Calum MacRae said: “To get out of that tough pool says a huge amount for this group of players.

“True grit was required and the lads delivered.

Our defence was the best it’s been all year. Australia and Portugal had to work through the phases to create their chances and we forced errors. 

“At times we made our attack an arm wrestle, by not stretching the opposition on the edges. This is something we will address going into tomorrow.

“It was a real squad effort, which everyone played a part. We will take the Cup one game at a time and see what tomorrow brings.” 

Scotland’s opening game in Tokyo was commanded by their opponents New Zealand, who won 38-0.

Exposing the wide channels the Sevens World Cup holders, starved the Scots of possession and scored tries through captain DJ Forbes, Sam Dickson, Sherwin Stowers, Tim Mikkelson, with a brace, and Joe Webber.

It was a tense affair against Australia. First, Scotland went ahead 14-0 with some attractive and competent attack play. Colin Gregor was the first to touchdown before James Johnstone crossed the whitewash. Gregor converted both of these scores.

However, just before the break Con Foley halved the deficit with a try, which Cameron Clark converted.  Nick Malouf and Clark then levelled the scores soon after half time.

This is when the match got exciting. Australia attacked first with James Fleming chopping Shannon Walker down, out on the wing, on two decisive occasions, which stopped tries.

Then it was Scotland’s turn. They battered at their opponent’s line for the most part of two minutes, patiently stringing passes together and working through the phases, but never managing to find a gap.

Then moments after the hooter had gone, Wallaby captain Ed Jenkins was yellowed in front of the posts for an infringement, which paved the way for Gregor to take a strike at goal.

The penalty kick was successful and Scotland took the win, 17-14.

Godsmark impressed

This meant, that Scotland’s final group game with Portugal was a Cup quarter-final decider, with both teams beating Australia and losing to New Zealand.

The match lived up to expectations too, with both teams putting in a big fight, but it was Scotland who emerged victorious and progress to the top tier competition tomorrow.

Fraser Lyle was the first scorer, taking another cracking support line from Nyle Godsmark who had already made 60 yards on the attack.

Godsmark was impressive in the tie and continually built a strong platform for the Scots to attack from. 

Portugal levelled the scores, with a man in the sin bin, just before the break, but Scotland didn’t allow them to score again until the end of the tie, when Joao Belo touched down.

In the meantime, Damien Hoyland took two very well worked tries, the first a run-in from halway, which established Scotland’s lead and ultimately gave them the victory. 


Tokyo 7s day one

Scotland 0-38 New Zealand

  • Starting team: Scott Riddell CAPTAIN, Fraser Lyle, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Russell Weir and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: Nyle Godsmark, Joseva Nayacavou, Chris Dean (all 11mins), James Fleming and Damien Hoyland (not used).

Scotland 17-14 Australia

  • Tries: Colin Gregor, James Johnstone
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (2)
  • Penalty: Colin Gregor
  • Starting team: James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Nyle Godsmark, Joseva Nayacavou, Russell Weir and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: James Fleming, Fraser Lyle (both 9mins), Chris Dean (10mins), Scott Riddell CAPTAIN and Damien Hoyland (not used). 

Scotland 17-12 Portugal

  • Tries: Fraser Lyle and Damien Hoyland (2)
  • Conversion: Colin Gregor
  • Starting team: Fraser Lyle, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Damien Hoyland, Nyle Godsmark and Russell Weir.
  • Replacements: Joseva Nayacavou, Lee Jones (both 9mins), James Fleming, Scott Riddell CAPTAIN (both 10mins) and Chris Dean (11mins).