Scots beat Ireland to clinch 11th place in Hamilton

Scots beat Ireland to clinch 11th place in Hamilton

Scotland ended the Hamilton leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series by beating Ireland to secure an 11th-place finish in New Zealand.

Ciaran Beattie’s charges lost to the hosts and USA but defeated Wales in their Pool A fixtures to set up a meeting with the Irish, who they came from behind against to record a first victory over the men in green in a thrilling encounter.

With Harvey Elms and Femi Sofolarin ruled out with minor knocks, Nyle Godsmark came into the squad for the play-off match as the Scots recorded an impressive victory to end a gruelling two days of high-octane competition.

In a see-saw battle, Scotland came from behind twice to show real spirit. After losing an early try, Dougie Fife went over in the corner and Max McFarland raced clear to ensure a 12-12 parity at the interval.

Robbie Fergusson in action against New Zealand, eventual tournament winners

In the second half, Ireland again took the lead through Jordan Conroy only for Scotland to rally once more, Gavin Lowe cutting a beautiful line to take a pass from Robbie Fergusson and tie the scores at 19 apiece.

Scotland saved the best for last, Lowe delivering a sumptuous cross-field kick that Alec Coombes caught on the run to canter home in what would be the game’s final scoring play.

Ireland came again but a tiring, yet relentless, Scottish defence held out to end the competition on a real high.

Head Coach Beattie praised his squad for sticking to the task in hand. He said: “We didn’t get the result we wanted at the start against the USA [in the first fixture] despite a gutsy performance. However, digging deep against Wales and Ireland, who we have beaten for the first time, gives us a nice take away from Hamilton.

“There are some individual things to work on but if we show the same tenacity, it should make for a good weekend in Sydney [next weekend, 1/2 February].”

Scotland will find out their pool for the Australian leg of this trans-Tasman double-header tomorrow.

Ross McCann scoring against Wales in Pool A

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