Scots claim 11th place at Sydney 7s
Scotland mirrored their finish at last week’s Hamilton 7s with an 11th-place showing in Sydney at the end of an exhausting tournament in searing Australian heat.
Facing temperatures that at one stage topped 48 degrees, Ciaran Beattie’s squad steadied themselves to beat Wales and end their Tasman journey on a high after competing in a fiendish Pool C with the hosts, USA and Japan.
Dougie Fife’s last-gasp try against the latter ensured the Scots ended up third in their section and they gave it one last effort in a match against the Welsh to grab vital points in the overall HSBC World Series table.
In that final match, Scotland raced out of the blocks, scoring two tries in a minute at the tail end of the first half through Sam Pecqueur and Robbie Fergusson, as Ally Miller powered through early in the second period.
The format of these legs, whereby teams not topping their group go automatically into a straight play-off match, meant Scotland had to either beat one or both of the top seeds to progress to the semi-final knockout stage, a task they came up short in.
That rally against Wales was a positive end to a tough two weeks that saw them lose Femi Sofolarin to a hamstring injury picked up in New Zealand last weekend.
Beattie said: “The format leaves no margin for error and we just weren’t quite consistent enough. We’ve picked up some really hard-fought wins and Paddy Kelly, on his tournament debut, did really well.
“Lots of positives in this unbearable heat which was so difficult to deal with but the boys stuck to their task and we look forward to the next legs in Los Angeles and Vancouver in a month’s time.”