Las Vegas 7s round-up

Scotland 7s beat England and Samoa to progress to the USA 7s Bowl semi-final, where a last minute try from the opposition, Wales, put an end to their run in the competition.

The squad will now travel to Vancouver for round six of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series, where they will face South Africa, Argentina and invitational team Brazil.

Head Coach Calum MacRae said: “We put in very strong performances against England and Samoa. There was an opportunity to close the game out in the dying seconds against Japan and we didn't take it.

“We've consistently put ourselves in the position to qualify for the cup but it's important to now take the next step.

“With the standard of competition being very high this Series and with more 15s internationalists entering the fold, it's a challenging environment for the young 15s players to develop in, but adapting to it and delivering performances consistently is a big part of it."

Scotland 0 v 26 Australia

Scotland faced Australia in their first tie of the tournament, with the latter coming out on top, 26-0.

The men in gold went into the break 14-points up with tries from Hutchinson and Myers – Lucas adding the extras to both scores – before further scores from Jenkins and Lucas, who maintained his 100% record with the boot, in the second-half was enough to bag the victory for Australia.

Scotland 24 v 14 England, Pool stages

Scotland bounced back from their defeat in emphatic fashion in their second game of the group stages with a 24-14 defeat of England – their second defeat of the men in white this Series.

The teams exchanged points and tries throughout the first half with England’s Cowell and Hayter scoring either side of a Jamie Fanrdale try, before a Hugh Blake score, and the successful conversion from Scott Wight, reduced the deficit to just two points at the interval (12-14).

Scotland carried their strong finish from the first-half into the second-period as Mark Robertson opened the scoring – with Scott Wight’s conversion putting his side 19-14 ahead after 10 minutes – before Joe Nayacavou dotted down in the last play of the game to secure the 24-14 victory.

Scotland 19 v 26 Japan, Pool stages

This lined up an all-or-nothing clash with Japan, with both teams vying for Cup qualification in their respective last ties of the pool stages.

However, a last-minute try from the Cherry Blossoms secured the victory and a spot in the quarter-final of the top-tier competition, shattering Scotland’s hopes of Cup qualification for the first time this Series.

Japan got off to a more promising start scoring two tries in quick succession from Hikosaka and Hano, with Goya adding the extras to one of the scores.

Scotland fought back through Scott Riddell, who crossed the whitewash after five minutes – Wight successfully adding the extras – yet Japan again opened the gap with a Lemeki try and Goya conversion before the turn (7-19).

Robertson, who took to the field at the interval, opened the second-half with a score to close-in on the opposition, before the impressive Farndale added his name to the scoresheet in the 11th minute, with Wight’s conversion tying the scores at 19-all.

Yet it was to be Japan who claimed the spot in the Cup quarters as Hikosaka scored the game-winning try in the last play of the game, with Fujita’s conversion closing the scoring at 26-19 in favour of the Cherry Blossoms.

Following the result, Scotland were tiered into the Bowl competition.

Scotland 17 v 12 Samoa, Bowl quarter-final

Calum MacRae’s men started well in their pursuit of another Bowl win with a convincing performance and 17-12 defeat of Samoa, to secure a semi-final match-up against Wales.

The men in blue started the tie in a strong manner as Robertson scored a brace either side of Toloa try in the opening five minutes.

Wight converted the first of the scores to give Scotland a 12-5 lead, before Farndale added a third try prior to the interval to give his side a comfortable 17-5 lead. 

In a relatively uneventful second-half, Scotland were reduced to six men with a minute left on the clock as James Fleming was shown a yellow card to build for an intense climax.

Scotland were dogged in defence despite their disadvantage, and ensured that Samoa were only able to add one final score as the hooter sounded, giving the men in blue a 17-12 victory.

Scotland 14 v 21 Wales, Bowl semi-final

A last minute try from Wales’ Phillips secured a 21-14 victory for the men in red, and, consequentially, ended Scotland’s run in the Las Vegas event.

The teams scored a try a piece in the first-period, with Wales’ Traherne successfully converting his own try, before Scotland speedster Fleming, announced his return to the circuit with a fantastic individual score.

Wight’s conversion tied the scores at 7-all at the break.

James Johnstone displayed some nifty footwork and a great turn of pace to put Scotland ahead with a score in the 11th minute, with Wight again adding the extras (14-7).

The men in blue retained their lead as the game drew to a close yet two late scores from Wales’ Williams and Phillips, both which were successfully converted by Traherne, sealed the victory and progression to the Bowl final for the latter.