Scotland beat hosts to top London 7s group

Scotland 7s won their group in style today at Twickenham in the final leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, the London 7s.

Damien Hoyland scored in every match today, including a hat trick against EnglandThe Scots posted three victories from three, with the most pleasing, a 22-19 win over hosts England in the last game of the day.

There were impressive performances across the field, but arguably the best players were Scott Riddell who caused England all sorts of problems at the breakdown, and Damien Hoyland who scored a hat-trick against the Auld Enemy, and five tries in total on day one.

There were debuts for Glenn Bryce, Hugh Blake and Jamie Farndale, with the latter two scoring a try each against Kenya. Scotland won that match, 26-12.

Their third win was against Brazil. That tie ended 19-14 in the Scots’ favour.

Scotland will now play Australia at 10.50am in the Cup quarter-finals tomorrow.

Head coach Calum MacRae said: “It’s great to have got the wins today and I’m really happy with the performances. 

“Prior to the England game there was a great feeling and right from the off we applied pressure.

“Whenever Scotland play England it’s a big occasion. It is very important to channel the emotions that come with it in the right way. The players delivered today. 

The team are starting to really believe in themselves and now know how to win. With a young squad this week, and three new caps this will give them invaluable experience for when they are in big games in the future.

“Looking ahead to Australia, Geraint John has done a great job with his team. They are a gritty and efficient outfit who we respect. 

“The games between us are always tight and it will be who wants it most on the day. We will look at the areas we need to improve on, but also take a lot of confidence out of today.”

Scott Riddell was outstanding against England todayScotland’s opening match at the London 7s was a game of two halves. The Scot’s started well and commanded the tempo of the tie, in the first half.

Damien Hoyland, James Johnstone and Mark Robertson all put tries on the board, showing some impressive pace and footwork. Colin Gregor added the extras to Hoyland and Robertson’s tries.

However, Luca Rodriguez scored seconds before the break, and then after half-time Brazil came out a totally different beast. They upset the breakdown at times and made a nuisance of themselves, stoping Scotland establishing a flow to their game.

Brazil were the only team to score in the second half, through Gustavo

Albuquerque. Rodriguez converted both tries.

As the clock counted down Brazil found themselves on the attack once again, and with space out wide, but Gavin Lowe’s powerful running and sweeping tackle saw his opposite man go out into touch and Scotland win the game.

The match against Kenya was a much more confident display from the Scots. They emerged the victors, 26-12, which in turn set them up for a table-topping clash with the hosts, England, later in the day.

The tie was never in doubt with Scotland looking sharp in attack and facing up to their opponents in defence, for the most part.

Hoyland hat-trick

Hoyland scored his second try of the weekend, early on, which Gregor converted, and was closely followed by Robertson, who also touched down for a second time.

These tries flanked a Kenyan score from Dennis Ombachi. But, Scotland went in at the break, 12-5 up.

Two minutes into the second half, Billy Odhiambo levelled the scores before a string of replacements added a little extra spark to the Scots’ game.

First, debutant Hugh Blake worked his way over the whitewash for his first try in a Scotland jersey, before Jamie Farndale ran in out wide and scored his debut try. Both Blake and Farndale’s tries were complemented by successful conversions from Gregor.

Scotland came out the blocks flying against England and quickly posted two tries, which began from Riddell’s impressive work at the breakdown. First, Johnstone scored his third try of the day before Hoyland also made it three.

England’s Marcus Watson scored after four minutes, but Scotland ensured a comfortable lead at the break, 17-7, with Hoyland crossing the whitewash once again.

Initially England’s half-time team talk seemed to make an impact, with Alex Gray and Tom Mitchell edging the hosts back in front, with a try each, and one conversion, slotted by Mitchell. 

But, it was Scotland’s day and their composure saw Hoyland cross the line with two minutes to go and complete his hat trick and ensure the victory. Nyle Godsmark was also influential at the end of the tie, as England attacked. It was his turnover that saw the match come to an end.

Scotland 7s squad for the London 7s

London 7s day one (Pool C)

Scotland 19-14 Brazil

  • Tries: Damien Hoyland, James Johnstone and Mark Robertson
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (2)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell CAPTAIN, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Damien Hoyland, Joseva Nayacavou and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: Hugh Blake (7 mins), Nyle Godsmark, Gavin Lowe, Glenn Bryce (9 mins) and Jamie Farndale (not used).

Scotland 26-12 Kenya

  • Tries: Damien Hoyland, Mark Robertson, Hugh Blake and Jamie Farndale
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (3)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell CAPTAIN, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Damien Hoyland, Joseva Nayacavou and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: Hugh Blake (9 mins), Jamie Farndale (11 mins), Glenn Bryce (13 mins), Nyle Godsmark and Gavin Lowe (14 mins).

Scotland 22-19 England

  • Tries: James Johnstone and Damien Hoyland (3)
  • Conversion: Colin Gregor
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell CAPTAIN, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Damien Hoyland, Joseva Nayacavou and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: Hugh Blake (9 mins), Nyle Godsmark (11 mins), Glenn Bryce (13 mins), Jamie Farndale and Gavin Lowe (not used).