Scotland defeat England to lift the Cape Town 7s Bowl

Scotland 7s will return from Cape Town 7s as Bowl champions after an outstanding day two performance in which the Calum MacRae’s men defeated Samoa, Wales and England.

Undoubtedly, Scotland saved their best performance ‘til last as they saw off England, 19-0, with a huge all-round performance in which Hugh Blake, Lee Jones and James Johnstone all scored.

However, it was Scotland’s terrific defence which proved the dividing factor in the final, as they held out the opposition despite some relentless attack from Simon Amor’s men. 

Scotland opened the day with a 26-14 defeat of Pacific Islanders in the Bowl quarter-final, before seeing off Wales, 29-14, to bag a spot in the final against last week’s Cup finalists England.

Reflecting on the win, captain Scott Wight, said: ““You can’t really beat it. To get England in the final and turn them over is just spot-on! 

“We spoke a lot about the defence, especially after Dubai last week, so this week we changed our mentality; we said we were going to go out and make tackles and I think we reaped the benefits of that, this weekend in South Africa. 

“It was part of our gameplan to try and stretch them, and we’re known as a passing team, but when we keep hold of the ball for phases the spaces open up for us. As you can see, in the final it worked and we were able to score three tries.

“We’ve made our greatest improvement in defence. I thought the boys attitude to making tackles was immense. We had a dogged, spirited attitude in and it was magnificent.”

Strong start enough to see off physical Samoans

Three first-half tries opened up a 19-0 point lead at the break, which proved too great a deficit for Samoa to overturn in the Bowl quarter-final.

Prolific finisher Lee Jones crossed the line twice in the opening six minutes, with the powerful Jamie Farndale also adding his name to the scoresheet before the interval with a typically barnstorming run for the try. Captain Scott Wight successfully converted two of the scores. 

Despite Scotland commanding a strong lead at the break, Samoa were not to be dismissed and mounted a comeback scoring two tries of their own through Toloa and Solia – the former converted by Mealoi – to close the gap to just five points after 10 minutes (19-14).

A last-minute try from Mark Robertson sealed the 26-14 victory for the Scots and saw them progress to face Wales in the Bowl semi-final, for the second consecutive week.

Scotland make it two-from-two over Wales to progress to Bowl final

It was déjà vu as, after a 17-14 defeat of the same opposition in last week’s Bowl semi-final, Scotland completed the double over Wales with another victory (29-14) in the same round, to bag a spot in the final for a second consecutive week.

Another strong first half performance from the Scots secured a 19-7 lead at the hooter, with James Johnstone, Gavin Lowe and Jones all posting scores – Wight adding the extras to the first two tries. 

Wales had the first say in the second period, as, following Cross’ earlier try, Jenkins crossed the whitewash in the ninth minute. O’Brien’s conversion closed the deficit to just five points, with Scotland leading 19-14.

The Dark Blues retaliated in a calm and collected manner, and mounted another late scoring-surge with Lowe exhibiting some elegant footwork for a try, followed closely on the scoresheet by Nick McLennnan, who scored his first points in the thistle emblazoned jersey to close the game at 29-14.

Scotland lift the Bowl with emphatic victory over rivals England

Scotland lifted the Bowl with a hugely inspiring performance and empathic 19-0 victory over rivals England.

The Dark Blues gave a clinical attacking display and a put in a mammoth defensive effort in scoring three tries while stopping England making their mark on the scoreboard.

Jamie Farndale made a huge indent in the English defence to set-up Hugh Blake for the opening try in the fourth minute, with Wight adding the extras to give Scotland an early lead.

Lowe looked to have scored a second on the stroke of half-time, yet the referee conferred with his assistant, who deemed the nifty Scotsman was held-up over the line. 

Scotland carried their momentum into the second-half and Jones notched another as he split the England defence in the eighth minute for the score. Wight was again successful with the extras.

Despite several attempted forays from the English on Scotland’s line, the blue wall stayed strong and kept out the relenting attack. 

With only two minutes left on the clock, Johnstone jinked and weaved through the broken English defence to score his side’s third score of the day and wrap the tie up at 19-0 in favour of the Scots to secure the Cape Town 7s Bowl.

Results... 

Scotland 26 v 14 Samoa

Tries: Lee Jones (2), Jamie Farndale and Mark Robertson

Conversions: Scott Wight (3) 

Scotland 29 v 14 Wales

Tries: James Johnstone, Gavin Lowe (2), Lee Jones and Nick McLennan

Conversions: Wight (2)

Scotland 19 v 0 England

Tries: Hugh Blake, Lee Jones and James Johnstone

Conversions: Scott Wight (2)