Scotland 7s endure frustrating start to series opener
Scotland finished 14th at the Dubai 7s, the opening leg of this season’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Drawn in Pool B alongside USA, Australia and new core side Ireland, Ciaran Beattie’s squad went close in each game only to see their opponents grab victory, especially in the final fixture against the Irish.
And in their play-off match against an impressive Kenyan side, the Scots just came up short again on a weekend that is sure to add valuable experience to a young group led by captain Robbie Fergusson.
Debutants Scott Bickerstaff and Femi Sofolarin earned their first Scotland 7s caps, the latter showing just why he is so highly thought of with a brace in that 29-31 loss to Ireland on day two.
There were several reasons for Scottish optimism on the back of such a tough run of games in the season-opening event.
Sam Pecqueur had an excellent tournament, notching a hat-trick in that same game and adding another against Kenya to take his tally to four, while Fergusson went over for two long-range tries in the pool stages.
Head Coach Beattie said his squad will be better for their experiences in Dubai: “We are disappointed of course, but in two of our pool games [against USA and Ireland] it went down to the last play of the game.
“We could have won both of those and then you’re talking about a different tournament altogether, but that’s something as a group we have to learn to do.
“We should have performed better against Kenya in the final game but again the squad know that at this level we have to be so consistent to have an opportunity to win the game.”
Scotland now travel to South Africa for the Cape Town leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which takes place next weekend (December 13-15).
Australia 43-14 Scotland
USA 31-21 Scotland
Scotland 29-31 Ireland
13th place play-off
Kenya 26-14 Scotland