Paris 7s: Pool stage round-up

Scotland bounced back from defeats in the two opening games of Paris 7s to record an emphatic 35-7 victory over Wales in the closing game of the pool stages. 

 In doing so, they secured a tie against Brazil in tomorrow’s Bowl quarter-final (9.51am BST).

Scotland opened their pool stage account on Friday night, where current Series leaders Fiji, exhibited their class to come away with a 38-12 victory. 

Despite holding the Fijians to a 7-all draw as half-time approached, thanks to a Glenn Bryce try and Scott Wight conversion, the Pacific Islanders scored two tries in quick succession to give them a 21-5 lead at the break. 

They continued with their momentum in the second-half and scored a further three tries, two of which came from last season’s World Series player of the year Viriviri, before Scott Riddell crossed the line for Scotland as the hooter sounded. Scott Wight added the extras to close the game at 38-12.

Next up were Fiji’s Pacific Island compatriots, Samoa, who Scotland had beaten three times from six meeting on this year’s Series, prior to Paris.

In a tight opening half, James Johnstone was the only player to cross the line from either side as he touched down after just two minutes. Scott Wight slotted the conversion to give Scotland a 7-0 lead, which they carried into the interval.

The second-half proved a very different affair, with the game opening up and Samoa equalising after the opening exchanges with a try from Mealoi, who duly converted his own score.

Dougie Fife, fresh off the bench, put Scotland back in front with 11 minutes on the clock, but it wasn’t to be as, despite some resilient defence from the Scots, Samoa crossed the whitewash twice in the closing minutes to secure a 17-12 victory. 

Scotland used their disappointment as a driver for their next game, with Wales feeling their wrath. 

Fife was first on the scoresheet, and, despite a Welsh reply from Roach, Scotland rallied with Robertson and Blake crossing the whitewash and Wight adding the extras to both scores before half-time.

Following the break, Scotland put the game to bed with a Jamie Farndale try to take their lead to 26-7, before James Johnstone added a fifth, with Nick McLennan adding the extras to close the game at 35-7 in favour of the Scots. 

Mark Robertson, who this week was announced as one of Scotland’s five players in the GB 7s extended training squad for Rio 2016, said: “It was important to us to get the win [against Wales] in terms of crossover on day two.

“The game against Samoa was frustrating. As they say, if you don’t win your kick-offs or regain possession, you’re not in the game, and credit to Samoa, they won their kick-offs and we hardly touched the ball in the second-half.

Sevens is unique and you can’t rest on your wins or defeats for too long, and we now need to look to tomorrow, get together, and get some wins before next week’s event at Twickenham.”