Scotland win Challenge Trophy in Las Vegas
Scotland lifted the Challenge Trophy at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Las Vegas.
Drawn in a difficult pool alongside Fiji, Australia and Wales, Scotland bounced back from defeats in their opening two matches to go unbeaten for the remainder of the tournament.
It took a dramatic Jamie Farndale try in the last minute of the Final against Spain to secure the Challenge Trophy for the first time since last season’s tournament in Vancouver.
With the six games in Las Vegas split over three days, Scotland battled on day one up against tough opponents in Fiji and Australia.
Despite falling to a 12-36 defeat to Fiji in their opening match, the talking point of the game was Max McFarland’s sensational solo try. Running over 100m and beating the entire Fijian defence single handedly.
The speedster was at it again in Scotland’s second game against Australia. An equally impressive one-man effort wasn’t enough against the men in gold who snatched the game 12-24.
John Dalziel’s men came into day two rejuvenated and twice came from behind to beat Wales and finish third in Pool D. A Jamie Farndale brace and Gavin Lowe try helping them to a 19-14 win.
Drawn against Canada in the Quarter-Final of the Challenge Trophy, Max McFarland continued his impressive form with two tries with Robbie Fergusson also getting on the scoresheet as Scotland progressed with a 21-19 victory.
Up next were invitational side Chile who had shocked World Champions South Africa by holding them to a 5-5 draw and had also beaten France the round before.
However, Scotland were too strong for the South American’s and a late Harvey Elms length of the field victory sent his side through to the Final, 17-5 victors.
In a tight match against Spain, Scotland looked to have done enough to secure the Trophy before the Spanish scored with just seconds to go.
Not to be denied, Scotland won the restart and shipped the ball wide to Jamie Farndale who did excellently to bump his defender and race away with the clock red to secure the win and the Trophy for his side.
Scotland now lie in 9th place overall at the half way point of the 2018/19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
“I thought the guys really built on the experiences of playing two of the top teams on the series and to go on and win four games on the bounce at this level is very pleasing." John Dalziel
Scotland 7s Head Coach John Dalziel said: “It was a tough start against Fiji and Australia and when you miss out on the Cup Quarter Finals it is very hard to mentally and emotionally stay on task.
“I thought the guys really built on the experiences of playing two of the top teams on the series and to go on and win four games on the bounce at this level is very pleasing.
“The effort was fantastic and finishing 9thand getting 9 points is very important.”