Scotland Women 7s finish fifth in Lisbon
There were plenty of positives to take for Scotland Women 7s last weekend as they finished 5th in the first leg of the Rugby Europe 7s Championship series in Lisbon.
It was a tough start for Scotland in the pool stages as they fell short in their opening two matches against Portugal and Spain but bounced back later in the afternoon to record two impressive victories against Belgium and Romania.
Scotland opened the first round of the competition with a narrow 14-15 loss against hosts Portugal, with Liz Musgrove and captain Jenny Maxwell crossing the whitewash.
The side fell short in their second match against eventual finalists Spain (12-24), as two tries in the second-half by Meryl Smith and Musgrove were not enough to overturn the early first-half lead by Spain.
The Scots rallied and began to hit their stride in the third match of the day as they held off a late second-half comeback from Belgium to record a 12-17 win. Chloe Rollie opened the scoring and was shortly joined on the scoresheet by Maxwell and Evie Wills.
In the final match of the day, Scotland enjoyed a comprehensive win over Romania, with Shona Campbell scoring twice on her Scotland Women 7s debut. Another brace from Chloe Rollie plus a score from Annabel Sergeant saw the Scots beat the side 33-12.
Scotland were drawn against earlier opponents, Portugal, for their opening match of the day and were determined to make amends from Saturday’s disappointing result. The Scots came out firing in the first-half, with Emma Orr giving the side an early lead. Further tries from Maxwell, Campbell, Musgrove and Sergeant helped seal an impressive 33-12 win.
Next up was Scotland’s last match of the day against Poland. Campbell’s impressive try scoring form continued, crossing over the line for her fourth try of the tournament to give Scotland an early lead. Poland retaliated and were able to go into the break with a slim two point lead. Emma Orr pulled the side back into contention in the second-half as she cruised over the line to score.
However, the fourth place decider against Poland proved one step too far for Scotland as their opponents clinched a further try to claim a 14-10 victory in the last moments of the game.
Interim Scotland Women 7s Head Coach, Chris Laidlaw, said: “As a group, we made some big steps forward as the weekend went on and I am really proud of the players and staff for their effort across the two days.
"The first day was a big challenge having to play four games, however, the players dealt really well with this and got stronger as the day went on.
"We had three new Scotland Women 7s caps in the squad at the weekend with Emma Orr, Shona Campbell and Coreen Grant all making their debut. We were delighted with all three of them and what they brought to the group on and off the field. It was brilliant to see them get their first 7s Jersey on Thursday evening and the emotions that came with it.
"I am really encouraged and excited about this group getting another couple of weeks together before we head to Moscow for the second leg and look to build on our performances in Lisbon."
Scotland Women 7s will head to Moscow in June (25-26) for the second and final round of the competition. All tournaments will be live streamed on Rugby Europe TV.