Scotland 7s are Plate runners-up in Tokyo

Scotland 7s have finished as Plate runners-up, sixth place, in the Tokyo 7s and moved into seventh place on the HSBC Sevens World Series standings.

Colin Gregor becomes fourth points scorer on all-time circuit listToday’s performances earned them 12 World Series points and keeps them in their highest placing on the World Series, ahead of their home tournament, the Emirates Airline Rugby 7s, in Glasgow next month (Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May).

After qualifying for the Cup quarter-finals on day one with wins over Australia, 14-12, and Portugal, 17-12, the Scots recorded one more win against Japan, 14-5, in the Plate semi-finals.

Also on day two, South Africa and New Zealand beat the Scots, 0-22 in the Cup quarter-finals and 14-21 in the Plate final respectively.

Head Coach Calum MacRae said: “It has been a big squad effort this weekend.

We're working teams far harder when they have got the ball and developing trust has taken time, but I can now see a defensive unit forming.

“There is a mixture of emotions in the dressing room, disappointment to lose at the hooter against New Zealand, but also pride in the hard work that has got us into the top competition.

“We are evolving every tournament and we are now heading home for the Glasgow 7s. Coming home for the Scotland leg of the circuit is something the players have looked forward to all year.

“After so many fans came out to support them at the Commonwealth Games, we aim to put in a performance that family, friends and Scots can be very proud of.”

Scotland 7s veteran Colin Gregor had an exciting day with tries against Japan and New Zealand, which saw him overtake Waisale Serevi on the all-time HSBC Sevens World Series player points table.

Gregor now sits in fourth behind England’s Ben Gollings, Samoa’s Uale Mai and New Zealand’s Tomasi Cama; having scored 1312 points over 56 tournaments.

MacRae continued: “Budgie [Colin Gregor] is one of the best footballers Scotland has produced.

His anticipation of play has over many years allowed him to pop up on the end of things when it counts and score. 

“He has kept himself in great shape, which is big credit to him.”

Scotland were outmuscled in their Cup quarter-final against HSBC Sevens World Series leaders, South Africa, 22-0.

An impressive kicking game saw the Commonwealth Games gold medallists score tries through Kwagga Smith, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika and Seabelo Senatla, one of which was converted by Afrika.

However, when Scotland won some possession, handling errors hindered their efforts.

Gregor takes over Serevi

It was a fantastic individual try from speedster James Fleming that saw Scotland move into the Tokyo 7s Plate final.

With seconds left on the clock and the score sitting at 7-5, in Scotland’s favour, but Japan having had the momentum with a try moments earlier, Fleming chipped the ball from his own 22, won the chase, gathered the bounce and slid in over the line to secure the win.

Colin Gregor had scored in the first half too, and converted both tries, as the team adapted to the wet conditions, but after that early try neither side were able to create much threat until the dying moments when first of all Japan’s Shunya Goto scored then Fleming.

In the Plate final against New Zealand, Scotland more than made up for their group defeat against the All Blacks and as the final hooter went the scores were level, 14-14.

However, the slippy conditions were difficult and a scrum from five metres for New Zealand was enough to help Dylan Collier cross the line and score the winning try.

Scotland played well in this match, with some positive attack play which led to Lee Jones’ try and then clever thinking from Colin Gregor, who darted in over the line after a quick tap penalty.

This try saw Gregor take over Waisale Serevi’s total HSBC Sevens World Series points tally and move into fourth on the World Series all-time points table.

 

Tokyo 7s day two 

Scotland 0-22 South Africa (Cup quarter-final)

  • Starting team: Scott Riddell CAPTAIN, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Damien Hoyland, Joseva Nayacavou and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: Fraser Lyle, Chris Dean (both 8mins), James Fleming (9mins), Russell Weir (10mins) and Nyle Godsmark (not used). 

Scotland 14-5 Japan (Plate semi-final)

  • Tries: Colin Gregor and James Fleming
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (2)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell CAPTAIN, Fraser Lyle, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Russell Weir and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: Damien Hoyland (7mins), Joseva Nayacavou (8mins), Nyle Godsmark, James Fleming (both 10mins) and Chris Dean (14mins). 

Scotland 14-21 New Zealand (Plate final)

  • Tries: Lee Jones and Colin Gregor
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (2)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell CAPTAIN, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Damien Hoyland, Joseva Nayacavou, Lee Jones and Chris Dean.
  • Replacements: James Fleming, Fraser Lyle (7mins), Nyle Godsmark (10mins), James Johnstone (11mins) and Russell Weir (12mins).

 

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 and 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).