Scots finish third in Moscow

Scotland 7s have finished third in the Moscow 7s, the second leg of the 2014 FIRA-AER Grand Prix Series, having only dropped one fixture all weekend.

Lee Jones for Scotland 7sThe Scots topped their group yesterday (Saturday 28 June) with three wins over Germany, 29-7, Portugal, 12-7 and Belgium, 24-21.  At the end of day one they were ranked in second place behind England, who went on to win the tournament. 

The team then opened today with a 17-12 victory over Belgium in the Cup quarter-finals, when Mark Bennett scored a try in extra-time, before losing out to Portugal, 10-5 in the semi-final.  They completed the tournament with a convincing, 36-7 win over Georgia and sealed a third place finish.

Head coach, Stephen Gemmell, said: “Our best performance this weekend came in the last game against Georgia.  Before that match individuals did enough to get us out of trouble at times, but against Georgia we functioned as a team.

“For me the most important element of the weekend was that our XVs players got much needed game time.  They were rusty to start out with but they began to settle into the short game.

We now sit top equal in Europe with England with the way the rankings work and that is pleasing.  It is the first time that Scotland 7s has been there.

“At times there were disappointing aspects to our performances, but I’m pleased with five wins from six games and going forward we’ll continue to identify areas of our game to work on ahead of the Commonwealth Games.”

The reason Scotland locked horns with their group opponents, Belgium once again in the Cup quarter-finals was because the tournament format saw the overall second best team and the overall third best team after the group stages meet.

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, Bennett, showed he has a hunger for the line as the Scots top scorer with seven tries across the weekend. 

James Eddie and Roddy Grant provided physicality up front and Lee Jones pace from the scurm-half berth.

Scotland 7s will play in one more tournament in London on Saturday 12 July, a one day event at Allianz Park, before taking to the field as Team Scotland at Ibrox on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 July in the Commonwealth Games. 

New coach, Calum Macrae will then take the reigns and lead them in a further two FIRA-AER Grand Prix Sevens Series events in September.

Moscow 7s day two

Scotland 17-12 Belgium (Cup quarter-final (extra-time played))

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

Scotland 5-10 Portugal (Cup semi-final)

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

Scotland 36-7 Georgia (3rd/4th play-off)

  • Tries: Colin Gregor (2), Roddy Grant (2), Lewis Young and Mark Bennett
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (3)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, Roddy Grant, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Nyle Godsmark, Lewis Young and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: Struan Dewar, Mark Bennett, James Eddie (all used), Andrew Turnbull and Gregor Young (not used).

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).