Scotland 7s in Sydney
Despite glimpses of magic in Sydney, Scotland struggled with consistency and finished fourteenth in a tournament that could have been so different.
Starting so brightly on Friday night the Scots made a stuttering start to day two and were just 60 seconds away from a place in the Cup competition losing out to a late try by hosts and eventual Champions Australia.
Discipline, errors and injuries cost the team on day three eventually losing out narrowly to Canada who they had beaten so emphatically just 48-hours earlier.
John Dalziel’s men now travel across the Tasman hoping to perform like they did on their first night at Allianz Stadium across the entire tournament in Hamilton.
They will face the hosts, Argentina and France in their Pool in New Zealand.
It was a dream start for Scotland against a Canadian side that enjoyed an impressive start to the World Series.
Tries from Jamie Farndale, Gavin Lowe, Glenn Bryce, Sean Kennedy, debutant Alec Coombes and a hat-trick from Max McFarland helped them to a 52-5 victory. A record win over Canada.
Glasgow Warriors’ winger McFarland would go on to score a further four tries in an impressive personal weekend for the speedster.
Up next for Scotland were Canada’s North American neighbours the USA and everything that had gone right the night before went wrong in the first half.
26-0 down after seven minutes. Scotland have become synonymous with dramatic comebacks on the World Series but this was a mountain too big to climb. It wasn’t for want of trying though, Robbie Fergusson and Scott Riddell tries making the full time score 26-12.
Scotland now faced the hosts in a winner takes all match and despite a first half time score from Farndale they trailed by ten points at the break.
Dominating the second half, Riddell and McFarland scored tries that looked to have booked Scotland a place in the Cup on day three but an Australian score with just seconds to go denied them.
Russia were the first opponents on day three and they made it three wins on the bounce against Scotland with a 17-12 victory. Kennedy and McFarland with Scotland’s tries.
Up next were Spain and again Scotland fell behind. However, Kennedy, McFarland and Bryce ensured they they would play a sixth game with the tries in a 21-14 win.
Finally, it was a rematch of the opening match and motivated by their defeat it was the Canadians who sneaked a 14-12 win. McFarland and Harvey Elms scoring in a much tighter affair than the Friday night fixture.
Scotland 7s Head Coach John Dalziel said:
“We made a really positive start and had moments against the USA and Australia that showed what a powerful group we’ve got here.
“Had we beaten Australia we would have qualified for the Cup and that’s an example of the fine margins that make the World Series.
“With such a physical Pool we took some injuries into day three and were disappointed with our performance against Russia despite missing Scott Riddell, Gavin Lowe and Robbie Fergusson.
“There were some really positive parts to our play that were well up on Cape Town but we just need to be more cynical.”