Sydney 7s: Round-up

Scotland 7s picked up five World Series points this weekend, after progressing to the Sydney 7s Bowl semi-final, where they were unable to overcome a strong Canada side on day two of competition.

Calum MacRae’s men were only a few points from Cup qualification, with the three-point defeat in a highly contested match-up with Kenya seeing them enter the Bowl competition after day one of the tournament.

The men in blue started day two with a hard-fought 22-19 win over France in the Bowl quarter-final, but were unable to carry their momentum into the next tie where Canada, who were impressive throughout, claimed a 35-12 victory to claim their spot in the Bowl final.

MacRae said:

"The players have put a lot of hard work in over the last two weeks in Wellington and Sydney, however we need a higher level of consistency in our performances if we are to make progress.

“It’s a bit Groundhog Day, again missing out on the Cup qualification by one score during the pool stages.

“Last season we were converting those opportunities, and we need to be more clinical.

“As a group we are disappointed to finish the tournament in the manner we did as there was an opportunity to climb to ninth, but we will take it on the chin and continue to move forward.”

In the opening game of the tournament, South Africa proved too strong, defeating the Scots 33-7, with an impressive Gav Lowe grabbing his side’s only try to which Scott Wight added the extras.

Scotland were a try-saving tackle away from defeating Kenya in the second tie of Pool B, as it looked as though Nick Grigg was in at the corner to steal the victory from a 17-14 deficit, yet tremendous cover defence put a stop to such, in-turn denting Scotland’s chances of Cup qualification. 

A tremendous performance in the third game of day one saw Scotland annihilate Russia, 40-5, and secure third place in the group. Lowe, Wight, Farndale and Nick McLennan all crossed with whitewash, with James Johnstone dotting down on two occasions to complete the side’s six try rout.

Scotland started day two strongly against with a 22-19 win over France in the Bowl quarter-final. Lowe, Riddell and Farndale all crossed the line in the opening period to give Scotland a 17-7 lead at the break, with the latter grabbing another immediately after the interval to extend the lead to 22-7. Despite a late comeback from the French, Scotland stayed resilient in defence to close out the win and secure a spot in the semi-final against Canada. 

However, Canada, who would go on to lift the Bowl, proved too strong in the semi-final tie, defeating Scotland 35-12, scoring five tries to Scotland’s two. 

Scotland 7s now look ahead to the fifth leg of the World Series in Las Vegas, where they will face Australia, England and Japan in Pool B of competition. 

MacRae continued:  “There were some outstanding individual performances at times over the 11 ties, in Wellington and Sydney.  

It’s been a learning experience for the two new caps Nick [Grigg] and Junior [Bulumakau], who both know what it takes to win at senior international level. Both have shown they have potential as players and will have benefitted from the experience as part of their development.” 

“I have an honest group of players and they understand the importance of using the next three weeks to improve for Las Vegas. Consistency of preparation is vital in order to transfer it onto the field. 

“We need to use our disappointment as a driver.”

Sydney 7s results: 

Day one 

Scotland 33 v 7 South Africa

Scotland 14 v  17 Kenya

Scotland 40 v 5 Russia

Day two 

Scotland 22 v 19 France

Scotland 12 v 35 Canada