After less than two months together as a team, Scotland Women 7s won four out of their five FIRA qualifier matches in Ghent this weekend to come Cup runners-up and book a berth to the Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifying tournament in Moscow later this month.
Day one saw the team beat Finland (59-0), Norway (46-0) and Malta (29-7), racking up 22 tries along the way, before Sunday’s fourth pool game against Georgia (21-7) to top their group and meet the home side in the Cup semi final. A 26-7 win over the Belgians saw them through to Moscow and a Cup final against the Irish. Despite a battling performance they lost their first match of the weekend, 0-29.
Head coach Scott Forrest said: “It’s a very good achievement for the girls. The whole time we’ve been together the target has been about this weekend, getting through Belgium and qualifying. The girls haven’t been thinking about Russia too much but you could see it in their faces after we beat Belgium, the reality that was us in the top two and that we’d qualified to get that chance to go to the final qualifier in Moscow.
“They’ve worked really hard off the pitch and on the pitch over the last six weeks, they want to learn, they’re constantly challenging me and they have the makings of a very good sevens team that has the chance to do something special.”
Listen to the full interview with Forrest at www.scottishrugby.org.
There were two European qualifying tournaments happening this weekend, one in Ghent and one in Bulgaria, to provide the teams for the four available slots in the final RWC European qualifying tournament in Moscow at the end of the month. Along with Ireland and Scotland, the Sofia qualifiers were Wales and Croatia.
They now proceed to the WRWC 2013 qualifier final in Moscow on 30 June and 1 July. That weekend’s tournament will also give Scotland a seeding, for future European competition.
The twelve European teams with established sides and seedings who have already qualified for the Moscow tournament are: England, Spain, Netherlands, Russia, France, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Moldova, Ukraine and Switzerland.
Scotland will be competing for a top five place in Moscow to qualify for the Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens. Outwith Europe five teams – South Africa, USA, Russia (as hosts), Australia and New Zealand – have qualified already, with Australia the current title holders.
The 2013 Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens features the top 16 women’s teams and takes place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow from 28 to 30 June.
Scotland Women 7s squad for FIRA-AER Women’s 7s European Championship in Ghent
1. Susie Brown (Richmond)
2. Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
3. Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
4. Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars)
5. Megan Gaffney (Murrayfield Wanderers)
6. Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers)
7. Sarah Dixon (Stirling County)
8. Katy Green (Murrayfield Wanderers)
9. Annabel Sergeant (Murrayfield Wanderers)
10. Stephanie Johnston (RHC Cougars) (captain)
11. Lauren Harris (Melrose)
12. Sarah Sexton (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Rory is the editor of Scottish Rugby Blog, and has offered a fan's view on Scottish Rugby since founding the blog.