Scotland finish 7th at Sevens World Cup
Scotland 7s Head Coach John Dalziel has praised his young squad following their seventh-place finish at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco.
It is Scotland’s highest finish at a Sevens World Cup since 2005, beating France in their final game at AT&T Park.
Captain Scott Riddell was the only player with previous World Cup experience going into the tournament and they started day three having dramatically beaten Kenya and losing out to South Africa on days one and two.
Drawn against hosts USA in the fifth placed semi-final Scotland struggled in front of a vocal home support, conceding two tries in each half in a 28-0 defeat.
In their final game against France, Dalziel’s men enjoyed much more possession than they had done in their previous two fixtures and were able to play the attacking brand of rugby they enjoy. Jamie Farndale’s physicality out wide freed Jack Cuthbert to run in under the posts as Scotland scored first for the first time in the tournament.
France responded with a try of their own, but Scotland hit straight back, Max McFarland showing his pace to finish in the corner as the ball was moved wide. Two France scores either side of half time saw Scotland fall behind before Robbie Fergusson collected a Farndale offload to dive over in the corner restoring his side’s lead. The game see-sawed again and the French scored under the sticks to lead 24-19 with a minute left to play but again Farndale was Scotland’s saviour, diving over in the corner to send the tie to extra time.
After 14 minutes of frantic sevens both sides were exhausted going into ‘next point wins’ and Scotland’s defence earned a turnover deep in their own half that Farndale collected. Chased all the way, he sprinted 100m to the line where he lay exhausted before being congratulated by his teammates. 29-24 the final score.
John Dalziel said:
“I’m really pleased that in the last game we calmed down a bit and played our game. After a fantastic opening match, we were straight into a game against the World Champions and then played the hosts so there is no shame in those defeats in the middle. Internally we were disappointed in the manner of those defeats but for a young, inexperienced team to bounce back and get that result against France showed real character.
“We had to dig in deep in extra time and a special mention to Jamie Farndale who has had a fantastic season for us and was out on his feet at the end of that game and still sprinted 100m to score the winning try.
“There’s a desperation from him and all of the players to drive this programme forward. There’s a lot to work with here and I’m really excited about where this team can go in the next few years.”