Scotland 7s struck by injuries in Sydney
Scotland lost key players to injury in the opening two games at the Sydney 7s as they failed to record a victory over the course of the tournament.
Both co-captains plus the experienced Nyle Godsmark and the lively Harvey Elms were forced to sit out the majority of the tournament picking up knocks early on and John Dalziel’s depleted squad battled scorching conditions for the remainder of the weekend.
Scotland got the tournament underway against Spain and couldn’t convert superior chances and possession, leading only 7-0 going into the final minutes despite dominating.
They were made to pay, and two late Spanish tries snatched the game 7-10.
The opening game was Harvey Elms and co-captain Jamie Frandale’s final involvement in Sydney, both picking up injuries that would rule them out.
Next up were Wales and despite being evenly poised after 10 minutes the Welsh pulled away in the final exchanges. Sam Pecqueur and Alec Commbes’ tries not enough in a 12-26 defeat.
The Scots lost their second co-captain Robbie Fergusson and the influential Nyle Godsmark ahead of the game with eventually tournament winners New Zealand who were too, Scotland had no response in a 0-42 defeat.
Drawn against Canada in the Challenge Trophy Quarter Finals, Scotland were slow out of the blocks and fell behind 0-28. They rallied in the second half, Max McFarland, Jo Nayacavou and Scott Riddell hitting back before one more Canadian try took the wind out of their tails.
It was a similar situation in their next game against Samoa. The Pacific Islanders racing into an early lead before a Sam Pecqueur brace gave Scotland home. Samoa had the final say and a depleted Scotland squad’s tournament finished early.
Scotland Head Coach John Dalziel said: “To lose Glenn Bryce during the week and then for so many influential players to go down in game 1 of the weekend was obviously very hard on the group.
“We lost Harvey Elms and Robbie Fergusson to HIAs, Jamie Farndale to an ankle injury and Nyle Godsmark to a shin injury. None of the injuries look to be too serious in the long term.
“We were really challenged in the midfield which meant we had to ask a lot from only 9 players in challenging conditions throughout the last 5 games, many playing out of position.
“I can’t fault the effort, but it was a really disappointing week after the highs of Hamilton.
“There were key moments in each game this weekend where we weren’t as composed as we should have been, and we must learn from them quickly.
“Younger and more inexperienced squad players like Ross McCann, Kyle Steyn, Alec Combes and Ally miller got a lot of game time and will have learnt some harsh lessons against the quality opposition.”