Scotland 7s entertain at Ibrox and move closer to Games medal

Scotland 7s will play South Africa tomorrow at 1.12pm on day two of the Glasgow 2014 Rugby Sevens tournament.

Tomorrow’s match will be an exact rematch of the Cup quarter-finals at the Glasgow 7s back in May.

Lee Jones scores five tries for Scotland 7s on day one

The Scots qualified after an electrifying victory over one of their most hotly contested opponents Canada, 21-5.  It was a must win game in front of a deafening 50,000 strong crowd at Ibrox Stadium, as the sun set over the southside of Glasgow.

The Canada match followed an opening loss to four times Commonwealth Games champions New Zealand, 14-17, the closest margin Scotland 7s have ever come to turning them over in the short game and then a 56-0 win over Barbados. 

Scotland 7s head coach, Stephen Gemmell, said:  “We have done what we set out to do on day one.

We are still very much in the medal race.  We started today among 16 teams who could win a medal at Ibrox and we have ended the day one of eight teams. 

“Every game today was like a Cup final and the players have risen to the occasion and put in three very professional performances.

“We will need to keep improving to reach our goal of medalling tomorrow, but I am sure this team have a lot more to offer Team Scotland.

The two stand-out performers today for the host nation, were Lee Jones who scored five tries across the three matches, showing his sevens prowess and Mark Bennett who seems to get better and better every time he pulls on the Scotland 7s jersey. 

Colin Gregor put in a series of try saving tackles that were influential to the three final score lines.  Stand-off Scott Wight and Stuart Hogg scored their first tries for Scotland 7s on the international stage.

 Jones and Bennett impress

A nervy start for both teams, with Roddy Grant and Jones felling the New Zealand attack in the opening minutes however Lam's fancy footwork saw him jig past oncomers and cross for New Zealand's first try, converted by Kaka. Wight and Hogg injected a bit of pace at the restart but a penalty to Scotland was reversed and Stowers nailed it in the corner, the conversion attempt by Kaka wide. A loose ball was collected by the men in black and Stowers rushed for the line to complete his brace, Kaka's conversion attempt again wide to make it 0-17 at half time.

If the first half had been New Zealand's it was all Scotland in the second as the crowd roared on the home side and rattled the opposition. Strong tackles from Hogg and Wight took the ball upfield again but a break from Hogg was wasted with no-one in support. Numbers were up for the next phase as a run starting with Mark Bennett ended in pass out wide to Jones who crossed in the corner, the score converted by Scott Wight.

Clearly rattled, first Kaka then Mikkleson were yellow carded. With New Zealand down to five men for 30 seconds, Wight set up Jones to score again and nailed the conversion to make it 14-17. New Zealand slowed the ball down at the restart, kicked out and took the match by the smallest margin ever between these two sides.

Kicking off the evening session, Scotland ran out in light drizzle to another packed house, with Barbados kicking off. Richie Vernon made the first break up the wing in a move that ended with Mark Bennett storming between the posts to touch down for the first try. Barbados saw their chance at the restart and were within a whisper of the tryline, brought down just short by Colin Gregor. Jones and Grant combined for the next score, Jones' third of the day swiftly followed by his fourth to put the Scots 21-0 ahead at half time, all the tries converted by Gregor.

Out of the blocks at pace at the restart, Wight bolted for the line to score his first try for Scotland; Sean Lamont, on the front foot, added another a minute later. Less than sixty seconds after coming on as substitute, James Johnstone then secured the bounce to set off down the far wing, evade all oncoming tackles and jink his way through the defence and over the line for a magnificent solo effort.

Scotland's scrum with a minute to play saw the ball out wide to Wight and the offload to Hogg who put his foot on the gas to score. With the hooter sounding, Scotland won another scrum, Gregor chipped and kicked to Colin Shaw who made it eight tries with the final play, all eight converted by Gregor.

Willed on by the roars of a passionate full house at Ibrox, Scotland secured victory over the Canadians, revenge for their last meeting in Glasgow at the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s semi final when the North Americans triumphed.

Scotland were on the front foot from the off, a great start by Scott Riddell, powerful run from Bennett and Jones crossing in the corner after two minutes, Gregor's conversion good. The Canadians answered back immediately with an unconverted try but it was to be their only points of the game as Scotland dominated, Vernon putting in a magnificent run to touch down for the second score, just short of half time, the conversion making it 14-5 at the break.

Scotland pressed the line and nearly crossed twice in the opening three minutes of the second half as first Bennett was bundled into touch inches from the whitwash then Roddy Grant's attempt was judged no score. It was Bennett who added to the tally following a cracking dummy from Scott Wight in the Canadians' 22, the score converted again by Gregor. Despite pressure from the Canadians, Scotland repelled all advances to make the full-time score 21-5 and ensure their place in the medal race on day 2.

Sean Lamont and Stuart Hogg celebrate Lamont's try v Barbados

Glasgow 2014 Rugby Sevens day one

Scotland 14-17 New Zealand

 

  • Tries: Lee Jones (2)
  • Conversions: Scott Wight (2)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, Roddy Grant, Richie Vernon, Stuart Hogg, Mark Bennett, Scott Wight and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: Colin Gregor (10 mins), Sean Lamont, James Johnstone (both 11 mins), James Eddie and Colin Shaw (not used). 

 

Scotland 56-0 Barbados

 

  • Tries: Mark Bennett, Lee Jones (2), Scott Wight, Sean Lamont, James Johnstone, Stuart Hogg and Colin Shaw
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (8)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, Roddy Grant, Richie Vernon, Colin Gregor, Mark Bennett, Scott Wight and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: Sean Lamont (7 mins), Stuart Hogg, James Eddie, Colin Shaw (both 9 mins) and James Johnstone (10 mins). 

 

Scotland 21-5 Canada

  • Tries: Lee Jones, Richie Vernon and Mark Bennett
  • Conversions: Colin Gregor (3)
  • Starting team: Scott Riddell, Roddy Grant, Richie Vernon, Colin Gregor, Mark Bennett, Scott Wight and Lee Jones.
  • Replacements: Sean Lamont, Stuart Hogg, Colin Shaw (all 10 mins), James Johnstone and James Eddie (both 13mins).