Scotland 7s finish fourth in Cape Town

Scotland’s impressive start to the HSBC World Sevens Series continued with a fourth placed finish in Cape Town.

Building on their sixth placed series opener in Dubai, Scotland 7s made it to the Semi-Finals in South Africa, losing to eventual Cup winners England.

Scotland now sit fourth in the overall standings with 27 series points, above the likes of New Zealand and Australia and will take a huge amount of confidence going into the new year.

Day One

Scotland opened the Cape Town competition against Samoa and left it late to get the win, the Pacific Islanders twice leading by a twelve-point margin.

Nick McLennan, Fraser Lyle and James Fleming all scored as Scotland fought their way back into the tie and with the clock red, Scott Wight stepped up to convert a touchline conversion to take the game 21-19.

Next up in Group D, Scotland 7s faced Uganda and they raced into an early lead through tries from James Johnstone, Jamie Farndale and Dougie Fife.

With Flower of Scotland sounding around Cape Town Stadium thanks to fantastic travelling support, Farndale, Fleming and Horne added three more tries in the second half to win 38-7.

Knowing that the winner would top Group D, the final group game against Wales promised to be an exciting encounter.

A penalty try, plus efforts from McLennan and Mark Robertson gave the Scots a 19-0 half time lead as they made the most of ill discipline from Wales who were reduced to five men in the first seven.

Back to a full compliment in the second-half, Wales launched a fight back and it took a Joseva Nayacavou try to secure a 24-21 win for Scotland and set up a Cup Quarter-Final against the USA.

Day Two

Recent matches against the USA have been tight affairs and the Quarter-Final was no different, the lead swapping hands three times before the game finished 19-19. Scotland’s tries coming from Robertson, Wight and Fleming.

With the team that scored the first points of extra time progressing, the added on period was end to end before Scott Riddell finally scampered over to set up a Semi-Final against England.

Having been so close to beating England in Dubai last weekend, Scotland looked determined to go one better this time round however tries from Robertson and Fleming were not enough as England went through to the Gold Medal game with a 14-33 victory.

In the Bronze Medal game against New Zealand Scotland matched the All Blacks and it looked as if the game was going to finish 19-a-piece with Fife, Horne and Fleming scoring for the Scots.

However, as the siren sounded, New Zealand scored a fourth to sneak the third place play-off 19-24.

Reaction

Speaking after the competition, Scotland 7s Head Coach Calum MacRae said: "To be fourth on the roster after two legs is very pleasing.

"We are in a very positive place at the moment and we will continue to push each other to maintain the high standards we have set.

"It says a lot for how far we have come since we started two years ago to finish a tournament in fourth and be disappointed. We are creating great opportunities and learning from every defeat.

"The players' work rate has been exceptional and to a man everyone emptied themselves. 

"We feel as a team there is more to come with another good block at home before Wellington and Sydney."