Scotland 7s finish as Trophy runners-up in London
Scotland 7s finished London 7s as Challenge Trophy runners-up as they bounced back from day-one disappointment with defeats over Kenya and Wales but were ultimately undone by Samoa in the final.
The Scots suffered a frustrating opening day at Twickenham Stadium – a familiar fate for many Scottish sides – but less so, of late, for the abbreviated outfit who lifted the Cup in west London in 2016 and 2017.
However, defeats in a difficult Pool to New Zealand (21-7), England (24-21) and an impressive invitational Ireland side (12-43) – who finished sixth overall – saw the men in blue consigned to the second-tier Challenge Trophy competition on day-two of the capital tournament.
While there were certainly impressive passages of play on the opening day, the Scots began by taking some of their winless day-one frustrations out on their day-two opponents.
First up was a breathless contest against the ever-impressive Kenya 7s side where, after the teams exchanged multiple scores turnabout, it was Scotland who were able to put two together through Jamie Farndale and Nyle Godsmark to win 29-21.
Next up were Wales, whose previous win against nearest rivals Japan brought relief in securing their place in the top 14 qualifying series sides.
However the Scots were in no mood to continue their successes and put in their most complete performance of the weekend, cruising to a 33-7 win, with a special mention to Farndale who registered his 100th try for the side in the final minute.
Last up were Samoa where – reminiscent of the Kenya contest earlier that day – the tries rained in turnabout but, with the Pacific Islanders crossing first, the Scots were always chasing the game.
Just two points adrift Scotland crashed into the Samoan 5m line but were turned over and, with bodies committed and lungs spent, the ball went wide and David Afamasaga ran the length of the field to score and end the contest and their part in the tournament.
Speaking in the immediate aftermath, Scotland co-captain, Robbie Fergusson, said: “We came out on day one and had a disappointing day, which is something we’re not proud of.
"We had a decent enough performance against New Zealand and in the England game, which went right to the wire. That maybe got into our heads a little bit against Ireland, though fair play to them, they played really well.
“Coming off the back of three losses is a real psychological challenge for any team and can get into to your head, so getting that win in game four [against Kenya] was massive.
“Today was about coming out and trying to get three wins and build momentum going into Paris but that last game [against Samoa] just got a little bit away from us."
Looking ahead to the final series leg in Paris, Fergusson added: “We’re still in a good place, we had a couple of young boys getting their first cap [Kaleem Baretto and Kyle Rowe], which is great for them and great for us building into next week.”