Vancouver 7s report and reaction

After a disappointing first day in Vancouver, Scotland 7s turned their fortunes around on day two to finish strongly and win their 13th place play off.

Drawn against the hosts, New Zealand and Russia Scotland failed to record a victory in their pool leading to them competing for the Challenge Trophy on day two.

Despite being knocked out in the semi-finals, Scotland found their form to win their final two games, finishing in 13th picking up valuable series points.

Scotland are now in 8th place on the overall series table going into next month’s Hong Kong tournament.

Day One

Scotland kicked off their Vancouver campaign against Canada at a packed BC Place with the home support in vocal support. Three tries through Dougie Fife, Scott Wight and Ally Miller weren’t enough to beat the Canadians who were strong throughout running away 15-28.

Next up were New Zealand and again Scotland were second best, 12-33 the final score with Scotland’s points coming through Fife and Glenn Bryce.

Tries from Scott Riddell and James Fleming gave the Scots the lead against Russia in their final pool game, however a late score snatched the game 10-12 for the Russians leaving Scotland without a victory on day one.

Day Two

Drawn against Kenya to open the second day of play in Vancouver, Scotland hoped to make their mark on the Challenge Trophy side of the competition and looked to have put the performances of the previous day behind them, racing into a 17-7 lead through Fleming, Miller and Fife.

However, the Africans fought back and two late tries swung the result 17-19 in their favour.

Next up were France and Scotland were beginning to play with more purpose.

James Fleming scored his 100th World Sevens Series try to open the scoring with Miller and Joseva Nayacavou giving the Scots control.

The French fought back to even the scores before a clinical breakthrough from Nayacavou gifted Hugh Blake a try and Scotland their first victory in Canada.

Scotland concluded their time in Vancouver with a game against Japan, clearly invigorated by victory over the French they looked dangerous and hungry. 

James Fleming and Ally Miller continued their good try scoring form to get Scotland up and running.

Bobby Beattie came off the bench to score the try that forced the game into extra time and it was Beattie again after the whistle to take the tie and ensure Scotland finished the tournament on a high.

Reaction

Scotland 7s Head Coach Calum MacRae said: “Day one was bitterly disappointing for us to draw a blank. We played well in certain sections of those games but didn’t take charge enough.

“We fronted up in the last two games getting the wins and stopped the rot, mainly down to the players backing themselves more and taking the defence on.

“There were positive performances. James Fleming has been very important for the team and I’m pleased for him to have reached such a milestone.

“Ally Miller showed how dominant a ball carrier he can be. For his further development as a XVs player he will have taken a lot from playing at this level of competition. It’s a tough schooling but he coped well.

“We now set our sights on Hong Kong and know we have improvements to make before then.”