Trio of wins sees Scotland 7s top group in Moscow

Scotland 7s topped Pool B in Moscow today (Saturday 28 June) and now progress to the Cup quarter-finals in the second leg of the FIRA-AER Grand Prix Sevens Series.

They will play Belgium at 7.22am (UK time) tomorrow (Sunday 29 June) in their first match.  They play their group opponents again because the competition format sees the overall second best team play the overall third best team, on day one, go head-to-head.

The side began today with a convincing win over Germany, 29-7, but then struggled a little against Portugal and Belgium.  However, they kept their composure in both matches and won 12-7 v Portugal and then 24-21 v Belgium.

Head coach, Stephen Gemmell, said:

We started well today, but then let mistakes slip in.  However, we came here to win and we have done that.  All you can ask is for the players to win three games, so day one’s job is done.

“I’m pleased, we were the second best performers behind England.”

Mark Bennett for Scotland 7s

The side’s XVs players continued to settle into their abbreviated game roles having joined the Commonwealth Games rugby camp at Ravenscraig at the beginning of the week.

Glasgow Warriors centre, Mark Bennett touched down in all three ties, continuing to show his natural gifting in the short game.  Scrum-half Lee Jones showed his pace and game understanding during the day and James Eddie and Roddy Grant were physical up front.

Scotland 7s professional James Johnstone also matched Bennett’s try count with three tries of his own.  He scored the first try in the opening match against Germany and then a brace v Belgium.

Gemmell continued: “The XVs players have settled in well and are getting up to speed, but there are times the group needs to be more accurate and realise we don’t need to try and force attacks. 

“We have work to do and we must lift our performance tomorrow.  However, the players all have a day of sevens under their belts, so if we build on these things we will give ourselves a chance to do well.”

Moscow 7s day one 

Scotland 29-7 Germany

  • Tries: James Johnstone, Scott Riddell, Colin Gregor, Mark Bennett and James Eddie
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (2)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, Roddy Grant, Struan Dewar, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Bennett and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: Gregor Young, Lewis Young, James Eddie, Nyle Godsmark (all used) and Andrew Turnbull (not used).

Scotland 12-7 Portugal

  • Tries: James Eddie and Mark Bennett
  • Conversion: Colin Gregor
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, Struan Dewar, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Bennett, Lee Jones and James Eddie.
  • Replacements: Roddy Grant (used), Andrew Turnbull, Nyle Godsmark, Gregor Young and Lewis Young (not used). 

Scotland 24-21 Belgium

  • Tries: James Johnstone (2), Lee Jones and Mark Bennett
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (2)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, Roddy Grant, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Bennett, Lee Jones and James Eddie.
  • Replacements: Struan Dewar, Nyle Godsmark, Lewis Young (all used), Andrew Turnbull and Gregor Young (not used).