Determined Scots entertain at packed home tournament

Scotland 7s have secured 12 vital HSBC Sevens World Series points at their home tournament, the Emirates Airline Rugby 7s in Glasgow, this weekend.

Players celebrate Joseva Nayacavou's winning try v WalesThis means they will retain seventh place, in the Series standings, as they head into the last leg of the circuit in London, next Saturday and Sunday (16-17 May).

Scotland 7s will face Kenya, Brazil and hosts England at Twickenham.

The Scots entertained throughout their sold out home tournament, with wins over Portugal (19-14) and Wales (12-7) on day one, enough to secure Cup quarter-final status, and then a win over Canada (14-12) in the Plate semi-finals today.

They also ran two of the best international sevens teams very close. First, they were defeated, 17-7 against ultimate tournament runners-up New Zealand, in the Cup quarter-finals, and then South Africa, 12-10, in a very close, Plate final, battle.

One thing that is for sure though, is the grit, determination and character the team showed against all their opponents, which entertained a very noisy home support.

Head coach Calum MacRae said: “The passion and character the players have showed here in Glasgow is something everyone should be proud of.

“We’ve enjoyed the experience in Glasgow. Any time the players come out on home soil, they take a huge amount of passion out with them and they have played very well this weekend.

“We approach every game exactly the same, we look at how we can control our own game plan and structures. We take some triggers off other teams as to how they approach different elements of their own game, such as their attack and defensive plays.

“But, this year we have been very much focused on our own performances and the things that we know we can do well.

If you look at the progress the players have made this year I think they have exceeded a lot of expectations, credit to them.

“That said there have been games where we have been well out of, against top sides but that is part of the process and given opportunities we’ll aim to turn those around.”

Scotland 7s began day two of the Emirates Airline Rugby 7s with a gutsy performance against Rugby World Cup 7s champions New Zealand, before seeing off Canada, 14-12, in the Plate semi-final

The tie with the All Blacks ended 17-7.

Colin Gregor scored an early try, that set the Scots on their way with a 7-0 lead, brushing off three defenders en route to the line, and despite Reiko Iaone's try before the break they managed to hold a 7-5 advantage.

In the second period the Scots defended well, at times, and had opportunities to attack that they were unable to capitalise on. New Zealand's scorers after the break were Joe Webber and captain Scott Curry. Gillies Kaka converted the final try.

Character and determination 

It was in the last minute that Scotland edged past their Plate semi-final opponents, Canada.

The hooter had already gone and Scotland were trailing after Russell Weir had given them an early lead, but then the Canadians had responded through tries from Sean Duke and Pat Kay.

Joseva Nayacavou powered over the line in the dying seconds, for a second Scotland try, but the ultimate difference was the boot of Gregor who converted both his team’s tries, where as Harry Jones only converted one for Canada.

The Plate final had, what felt like, the hearts of every supporter in Scotstoun Stadium in their mouths as Scotland were edged out of victory by HSBC Sevens World Series leaders South Africa.

South Africa scored two tries in the first period, through Ruhan Nel and Werner Kok, the second of which was converted by Branco Du Preez. This gave them a 12-0 advantage at the break. 

However, the second half was Scotland’s. They were incredible in defence and their attack play saw James Johnstone and Damien Hoyland cross the whitewash for tries.

Hoyland’s score came more than two minutes after the hooter had sounded. However, neither try was converted and in the end Scotland missed out by two points.

Scotland 7s squad for Emirates Airline Rugby 7s

Glasgow 7s day one (Pool C) 

Scotland 19-14 Portugal

  • Tries: Scott Riddell, James Johnstone and Mark Robertson
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (2)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, James Eddie, Mark Robertson, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Damien Hoyland and Russell Weir.
  • Replacements: Joseva Nayacavou (7 mins), Gavin Lowe (11 mins), Nyle Godsmark, Chris Dean (both 13 mins) and James Fleming (not used).

Scotland 12-7 Wales

  • Tries: James Johnstone and James Fleming
  • Conversion: Colin Gregor
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, James Eddie, Mark Robertson, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Damien Hoyland and Russell Weir.
  • Replacements: Joseva Nayacavou (7 mins), James Fleming (9 mins), Nyle Godsmark, Chris Dean (14 mins) and Gavin Lowe (not used). 

Scotland 5-45 Fiji

  • Try: James Fleming
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, Mark Robertson, Joseva Nayacavou, Gavin Lowe, Colin Gregor, James Fleming and Chris Dean
  • Replacements: James Johnstone (7 mins), Nyle Godsmark, Russell Weir (both 8 mins), Damien Hoyland (11 mins) and James Eddie (not used).

 

Glasgow 7s day two 

Colin Gregor scores against New Zealand at the Emirates Airline Rugby 7s

Scotland 7-17 New Zealand (Cup quarter-final)

  • Try: Colin Gregor
  • Conversion: Colin Gregor
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, Mark Robertson, Joseva Nayacavou, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Damien Hoyland and Russell Weir.
  • Replacements: Nyle Godsmark, James Fleming (both 8 mins), James Eddie, Chris Dean (both 11 mins) and Gavin Lowe (12 mins).

Scotland 7s against Canada at the Emirates Airline Rugby 7s

Scotland 14-12 Canada (Plate semi-final)

  • Tries: Russell Weir and Joseva Nayacavou
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (2)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, James Eddie, Mark Robertson, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Russell Weir and James Fleming.
  • Replacements: Joseva Nayacavou, Nyle Godsmark (both 8 mins), Gavin Lowe, Damien Hoyland and Chris Dean (not used).

Damien Hoyland outmuscles South Africa captain to score a try at the Glasgow 7s

Scotland 10-12 South Africa (Plate final)

  • Tries: James Johnstone and Damien Hoyland
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, James Eddie, Mark Robertson, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Gavin Lowe and Damien Hoyland.
  • Replacements: Joseva Nayacavou (7 mins), Nyle Godsmark, Russell Weir (both 9 mins), Chris Dean (11 mins) and James Fleming (not used).