Strong start to series for Scotland 7s

Scotland 7s finished the opening tournament of the World Series in Dubai in sixth place following victories over USA, Uganda and France.

It is the best start to a series ever recorded by Scotland and they take twelve points and positive momentum into next weekend’s tournament in Cape Town.

Day One

Tries either side of half time from Mark Robertson and Joseva Nayacavou got Scotland off to the perfect start in Group B with a 14-5 victory over the USA.

In game two Scotland led at half-time against the Blitzboks thanks to a try from James Fleming. However, the South Africans, who went on to win the tournament, scored three second-half tries to win the contest 5-21.

Despite racing into the lead against Uganda it was level 14-14 at the start of the second half in game three. Scotland maintained composure and ran saw the game out 35-14 thanks to tries from Scott Riddell, James Johnstone, Dougie Fife, James Fleming and debutant George Horne.

Finishing second in Group B guaranteed Scotland a place in the Cup competition on day two and set up a Quarter Final against England.  

Day Two

England raced to an early 0-14 lead in the Quarter Final but tries from Fraser Lyle and Dougie Fife pulled Scotland level before a second Lyle try gave them the advantage going into the final minute.

England scored a late try after the siren and opted to take the kick off rather than attempt the conversion to tie the match.

Scotland won a penalty off the restart and kicked to touch rather than running the ball dead to win the game.

England subsequently stole the following line out and ran the length for a dramatic late score.

The result meant Scotland were entered into the fifth placed competition and showed fantastic resolve in the semi-final, bouncing back from the disappointment of the England result to beat France 26-17.

Tries from Lyle, Robertson and Fleming (2) inspiring the come-back victory against the French.

Scotland’s final game of the tournament was the play-off for fifth place against Australia.

Fleming’s try gave them a 7-5 lead however a second half Dougie Fife effort wasn’t enough to secure the win with the Aussies taking the game 12-19 meaning it was a sixth placed finish for Calum MacRae’s men.

Reaction

Scotland 7s Head Coach Calum MacRae spoke following the conclusion of the tournament in Dubai. 

He said: “I’m extremely pleased with how the team has started the series. The hard work the players put in during pre-season really showed through their performances.

“We showed strong character to come from behind against England and the players demonstrated how much the jersey means to them through their gutsy performance.

“We learned a harsh lesson at the end which I take full responsibility for and I’m proud of the guys who gave it everything.

“We showed resilience to roll up our sleeves to claim a hard fought win against France and I’m proud of that reaction after the bitter disappointment of the Quarter Final.

“Sixth is the strongest start we have made to a series, it was a real squad effort and we will look at our performances in detail this week to see how we can improve.”