Scotland reach Dubai Quarter finals
Scotland 7s secured a top eight finish in Dubai following impressive performances on day one.
John Dalziel’s men went toe to toe against the reigning World Series, World Cup and Olympic Champions over the course of the weekend finish with 10 crucial World Series points having reached the Quarter Finals.
Drawn against Kenya, Fiji and France in the Pool stages Scotland burst out of the blocks in their opening fixture beating Kenya 35-14. A penalty try, plus scores from Max McFarland, Robbie Fergusson, Glenn Bryce and Sam Pecqueur eased the Scots into the Dubai Tournament.
Up next were Olympic Champions Fiji and McFarland, Fergusson and Pecqueur all scored in consecutive games to make it everything to play for in the final moments with the scores poised at 21-19.
Scotland looked to have won it with a late score but on review a foot was in touch and it was the Fijian’s who emerged victorious.
The Scots’ far superior points difference over France meant all they needed was a point in their final Pool game to progress to the Cup on day two and they showed good control of the tie to get exactly that. Co-captain Jamie Farndale’s early score plus a try and two conversions from Gav Lowe were enough for a 14-14 draw.
Having finished second in Pool B, Scotland were drawn against World Cup Champions in the Cup Quarter Finals on day two and were their own worst enemy in a game where the scoreline flattered the opposition. Harvey Elms scored a late try as the game finished 7-21 but had a few final passes from John Dalziel’s men gone to hand it could have been an entirely different result.
Reigning World Series Champions South Africa were up next in the fifth place play off and the Blitzboks displayed the kind of clinical performance that earned them their crown last season, winning comfortably 0-29.
Scotland 7s Head Coach John Dalziel said:
“I felt the boys were very consistent through day one and we were able to apply pressure through both attack and defence and it kept us in control of all games.
“It’s nice to get 10 Series points but we came off the level we set on the first day on day two. The squad all obtained valuable game time and hopefully we can build on the good bits and tidy up our unforced errors and kick on into Cape Town next week. Playing Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa is valuable in our learning and going forward we will understand better how to control key moments in these games and apply pressure for longer against these top teams.”