Scotland progress to Cup competition in Vancouver

Scotland 7s enjoyed a successful inaugural Vancouver 7s, as they progressed to Cup quarter-finals for the first time of the 2015/16 World Rugby Sevens Series.

Calum MacRae’s men recorded two victories from three games on the opening day of competition with convincing wins over South American sides, Argentina and Brazil.

However, despite two excellent displays, Scotland were unable to claim the spoils against Australia in the Cup quarter-final or Samoa in the Plate semi-final.

Scotland 7s now travel to Hong Kong, where they will meet South Africa, England and Russia in the pool stages. 

Head Coach Calum MacRae said: "I'm very proud of the players and the step forward taken this week in Vancouver, qualifying for the Cup. 

"We had an honest chat together as players and staff in Las Vegas after another near miss of top eight qualification and that pulled us closer together as a team, and gave a strong focus for the weekend. 

"We play to the wire in every tie, but starting slow has given us too much work to catch up in certain games. We know what we are capable of and our challenge going into Hong Kong is to get a strong foothold in all ties from the off. Playing every phase on its own merit, building the win, and not chasing it. 

"We will prepare well and look forward to Russia, England and South Africa. "

Scotland 0 v 43 South Africa – Pool stages

Scotland got off to a slow start, with the impressive South Africa running in seven tries to the dark blue’s nil, seeing the Blitzbokke come away with a 43-0 victory.

Scotland 19 v 7 Argentina – Pool stages

Scotland bounced back from their heavy-defeat in the opening game, as they recorded a 19-7 victory over South-American side, Argentina.

James Fleming put Scotland ahead after two minutes, yet a try from the Pumas’ Muller and the conversion from Revol put Argentina 7-5 ahead at the break.

Argentina were reduced to six men immediately after the interval and Scotland took advantage of their extra man as Joe Nayacavou put Scotland ahead, 10-7, before Wight added the extras to extend the lead (12-7).

Jamie Farndale opened the gap further with a try in the 14th minute, before captain Scott Wight closed the scoring with the conversion (19-7).

Scotland 33 v 0 Brazil – Pool stages

Following the win over Argentina, Calum MacRae’s men carried their momentum forward into the next match to record an emphatic 33-0 win over another South American side, Brazil, and bag themselves a spot in the Cup quarter-finals against Australia.

Two tries in quick succession on the cusp of half-time from James Johnstone and James Fleming, with Wight converting the former, saw Scotland 12-0 up at the turn.

Brazil lost a man to the sin-bin straight after the interval as Rodriguez was shown a yellow card, before Johnstone grabbed a second, with Wight, once again, adding the extras (19-0).

As the game drew to a close, Scotland continued to pile the pressure on their opposition and reaped the rewards as Nayacavou dotted down, closely followed by his captain, Wight, who also slotted both the conversions (33-0).  

Scotland 24 v 17 Australia – Cup quarter-finals

A valiant performance from Scotland wasn’t enough to see them through to the last four of the competition, as a late surge from Australia was enough to see them snatch a 24-17 victory and a spot in the last four.

Scotland opened with a bang as Dougie Fife crossed the whitewash in the opening minutes, before Gav Lowe followed suit less than a mnute late. Wight converted the former (12-0).

Wight was shown a yellow card and the men in gold grabbed a try on the cusp of half-time through Holland, which gave Scotland a 12-5 lead at the break.

However, Australia continued to battle back in the second-half and drew level with a Fa’alava’au try and Stannard conversion, before Holland secured his brace in the eight minute to take his side ahead, Stannard again adding the extras (19-12).

Australia extended their lead through Foley, who scored in the 13th minute to provide a 12-point cushion (24-12) for the Wallaby 7s.

Scotland’s Fleming dotted down after time to close the gap (24-17), but it wasn’t enough to see his side through to the Cup semi-finals, and, instead, meant they dropped into the second-tier, Plate competition.

Scotland 17 v 24 Samoa - Plate semi-final

Scotland battled hard and fought back from a 19-0 deficit at half-time, but were unable to overturn an impressive Samoa, who progressed to the Plate final with a 24-17 win.

Three tries in six minuntes from Samoa’s Hunapo, Tapili and Toloa, two of which were converted by the latter, presented Scotland with a tough second-half task, yet MacRae’s men relished in the challenge.

Jamie Farndale grabbed the first try of the second-half, before Junior Bulumakau followed suit, to bring the scores back to 19-12 in favour of Samoa.

Toloa once again widened the gap to 12 points with a second try, before Scott Riddell crossed the whitewash to  bring the scores to 24-17 as the full-time hooter sounded.