Scotland 7s in Paris - Report and Reaction
Scotland enjoyed mixed fortunes at the final HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament of the season in Paris, winning three of their six games.
Two victories on day one is often enough to send a team through to the Cup competition, however other results saw Scotland miss out on points difference meaning they competed in the Challenge Trophy on day two.
They bounced back from a disappointing performance against Wales to mount a stunning comeback against Samoa, before narrowly losing out to Kenya in the final match.
Scotland got off to the perfect start at the Stade Jean-Bouin, beating the title chasing South African’s 14-12 in their opening match.
Robbie Fergusson put his side in front, but South Africa fought back to lead 12-7. With the clock red Scotland mounted one last attack and Harvey Elms wriggled his way to the line to tie the scores.
Fergusson then stepped up to nail his conversion from out wide to give John Dalziel’s men victory over one of the leading sides on the circuit.
Next up were Canada and Scotland couldn’t reach the heights they achieved in their first game. Tries from Max McFarland and Harvey Elms not enough in a 26-14 defeat.
Scotland needed to beat Russia to stand any chance to progressing to the Cup and did so with a 17-14 victory, a Darcy Graham brace and a try from Fergusson securing the win.
However South Africa’s dominant victory over Canada saw Scotland miss out on second place in the group with an inferior points difference of just three points.
Wales were their first opponents on day two and Scotland struggled to get going, Nyle Godsmark’s try the only positive in a 28-5 defeat.
Drawn against Samoa next, they had the opportunity to respond to the heavy defeat the Pacific Islanders had suffered them the week before in London.
19-0 down at the break it didn’t look good for Scotland however an inspired second half performance saw them take the game 24-19.
Jamie Farndale, Harvey Elms, Max McFarland and Nyle Godsmark scoring the tries to secure an impressive come back.
Kenya were the opponents to round off the weekend and the Series and in a hard-fought game Scotland were pipped to the post by a point.
20-21 the final score. Jamie Farndale scoring two and Jo Nayacavou and Robbie Fergusson also getting on the scoresheet.
Scotland 7s Head Coach John Dalziel said: “We’ve got some really exciting young kids in this group and we’re trying to build a pathway for them to develop and hopefully go on to bigger and better things in the 7s world and also in the XV-a-side game.
“Endeavour is always there but this is a brutal sport and there are world class teams on this circuit. You saw against South Africa that when we dominate possession and have a clean performance we can match anybody.
“We’re a little disappointed with the inconsistencies which you do get with a young group and we’ve been a little but up and down but for a young squad down to just nine through injury to come together and put in two good performances to end the year, I’m hugely proud of them.”