Scots finish tenth in 7s series finale
The 2022 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series drew to a close in Los Angeles over the weekend, with Scotland narrowly missing on out on a ninth-place finish after a number of committed displays at Dignity Sports Park.
In what is the final event before Scotland, England and Wales leave the circuit, and form a Team GB set-up in line with future Olympic Games qualification, Ciaran Beattie’s charges were forced to dig deep after a number of injury concerns over the course of the weekend.
Drawn in Pool D alongside England, Samoa and Kenya, Scotland got their tournament off to a flyer, as two tries from Jordan Edmunds and a third through Callum Young earned a 19-7 win over England in the opening match.
Samoa were impressive in winning the second match 22-7, with Kaleem Barreto’s try ultimately in vain. Scotland were then leading Kenya twice through Barreto and Robbie Fergusson tries, but fell short in a 20-10 defeat to enter the Challenge event for the latter stages.
With Edmunds, Ross McCann and Reiss Cullen picking up knocks, head coach Beattie was inventive with his selection for the 9th-place quarter-final against Spain, the likes of Finn Callaghan and Young featuring in unfamiliar front-row positions.
Despite trailing at the break, Scotland rallied superbly to score four second-half tries courtesy of Matt Davidson, Jamie Farndale – on his 50th World Series event for Scotland – Robbie Fergusson and Harvey Elms, securing a 28-7 victory in the process.
Wales superbly beat South Africa in their own quarter-final to set up a clash of the Home Nations and Scotland once more rallied as a group, a Fergusson double and a further try from Elms completing a 19-7 victory.
With Fergusson then also ruled out of the 9th-place final against France, Scotland found it a game too far in a 33-0 loss. Their final event on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, in which they finished tenth, will carry the memory of beating both England and Wales in the last tournament before the nations combine for next season’s circuit.
Head coach Beattie said: “I’m proud of the way the players battled this weekend. Their attitude has been first class throughout the series. We picked up a few good wins in Los Angeles and we’re looking forward to the World Cup next month.”
The Rugby World Cup Sevens (9-11 September) is the next focus for Beattie’s squad, as they head to Cape Town for the last event of a busy summer which also included the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July.
The Scotland squad for that World Cup, as well as details of fixtures, timings and how you can watch, will be announced in due course.