Scotland win Challenge Trophy in Vancouver

Scotland bounced back from a difficult first day at the Canada 7s to win all three games on day two and claim the Challenge Trophy.

In a pool against the top two teams on the circuit the Scots failed to register a win on a difficult first day however they dusted themselves off and saw off the host nation, then Wales before beating Spain in the Trophy final.

Day One

Scotland opened the tournament against New Zealand. Having played the Kiwis the previous week and ran them all the way confidence was high and two early tries from Darcy Graham and Scott Riddell put them on the front foot.

The All Blacks took control of the fixture before Jamie Farndale and Nick McLennan hit back, pushing them all the way. The game eventually finishing 31-26.

Next up were World Series leaders and current Champions South Africa and despite a spirited effort from the Scots they fell to a 0-21 defeat.

To conclude day one, Scotland faced Russia and fell to their third consecutive defeat. Tries from Graham, Scott Riddell, Max McFarland and Glenn Bryce not enough as the game finished 24-26.

Day Two

Scotland were drawn against the host nation Canada in the Challenge Trophy Quarter Finals and responded immediately to a disappointing day one with a convincing victory.

Solid in defence they prevented the Canadians from scoring any points and two tries from Graham and another from Bryce secured a 19-0 win.

Wales were their semi-final opponents. Tight at the break with a Jamie Farndale score giving Scotland a two point lead they fell behind early in the second period before turning on the style and running out convincing winners.

McLennan, Graham and another from Farndale saw Scotland into the final, 26-15.

Facing Spain in the final John Dalziel’s men always looked in control. Two tries from Bryce, a sixth of the weekend from Graham plus scores from Farndale and Riddell secured the Challenge Trophy 29-5.

Reaction

Scotland Head Coach John Dalziel said: “Up against first and second in the series groups don’t get much harder.

“Losing Jo Nayacavou and James Fleming in Vegas as well as Gavin Lowe in made things tough for us but we put in two solid performances against New Zealand and South Africa but were disappointing against Russia.

“I am really proud of the way the lads turned it around on day two. We have really grown over the last two weeks and the players have learnt so much being involved in highly competitive games over the past two weekends.

“We have made some ground in the series, points wise, and now look forward to Hong Kong and the Commonwealth Games and look forward to playing more attractive rugby.”