A Scotland Women 7s Select reached the semi-finals of the ladies’ tournament at this weekend’s Amsterdam 7s in their debut tournament of the year, and with head coach Graham Shiel in charge for the first time.
Unbeaten on both days’ pool rounds, having conceded just two scores in the process, the squad were edged out by a strong Irish side at the semi-final stage.
Shiel said: “We tried to up the tempo against Ireland – the first seven minutes were scrums – but couldn’t get the game destructured to suit us better.
“Overall it was a positive weekend, however. There were plenty good performances and we got six games under our belts.”
The squad were out of the traps with intent off the pool stages with a 60-0 win over Italian outfit Rocce, our tries from Lauren Harris (4), Rhona Lloyd (2), Mhairi Grieve (2 plus a conversion) and Lisa Thomson (1), with Lisa Martin adding four conversions.
Next up were Dutch side Dukkies who, although gave the Scots more of a test in defence, were overcome 52-0. Tries came from Harris (2), Lloyd (2), Thomson (2), Martin (1 plus 5C), Jenny Maxwell (1) and a conversion from Grieve.
Saturday’s final pool encounter came against Norwegian Vikingettes. The team worked hard to control possession and territory for much of the game and went in at the break leading 5-0. They then edged ahead 12-0 – though Norway added a converted score at the death – to take the match, the tries from Gaffney and Martin who also added a conversion.
Swiss 7s were Sunday’s first opposition and, after a challenging first half where a Martin converted Harris try led to one score by the opposition, the Scots stepped on the gas in the second half. Tries from Martin, Gaffney and Thomson, two converted by the former, made the final score 26-7.
The fifth and final pool game saw opposition from Fiji side Taburaso Angels. Tries from Lloyd and Grieve, both converted by Martin made the final score 14-0 and saw the Scots through a semi-final against the form side, Ireland.
A try by Lloyd put the only points on the board for the Scotland Select, against 21 for eventual tournament winners Ireland, however the players benefitted from an initial run-out with game time for all as they look ahead to this weekend’s matches in London, at the rugby 7s ladies’ open event which forms part of Summer Social 2016.
The tournament, which will be the second uncapped training competition for the squad, will benefit preparation for this summer’s two Rugby Europe championship events in the Czech Republic and Hungary.