Gold Coast Sevens Day 1 Round Up

Scotland 7s will face Nuie in the Bowl quarter-finals of the opening HSBC Sevens World Series leg in the Gold Coast, Australia tomorrow. Nope, I don’t know where Nuie is either.

The Scots narrowly missed out on a place in the top-tier cup competition having lost to Auld Enemy 24-5, and were then edged out of contention for the second cup qualification spot by home nations rivals, Wales, with a try at the death (14-12). Wales went on to beat England and stay in the Cup. Welsh revival indeed!

The Scots sealed the top seeded Bowl qualification spot by beating Tonga 14-12 to confirm tomorrow’s quarter-final at 12.22pm (local time) tomorrow in the pursuit of the silverware.

Despite suffering two defeats the squad showed resilience improving as each game progressed. For head coach, Graham Shiel, the team controlled possession and territory, which was complemented by well established support play.

He said: “It’s obviously disappointing but I’ve seen a lot of growth in the team today and they’ve dealt with the quick turn around between games very well.

“Tomorrow’s opening game against Nuie will be a big challenge but we bounced back against Tonga today and learned from our experiences. We need to keep doing this going into day two and keep improving as we get more games under our belt.

“Nuie will be a similar game to Tonga, whereby they will be very confrontational. However, if we control the possession and territory well we can get the upper hand and hopefully win the game.

Against England, James Eddie began the scoring two minutes after the whistle when Michael Fedo split the line in midfield and offloaded to Eddie who sprinted to the line.

However, it was the only time the Scots would cross the whitewash, as the opposition put four scores on the board: Greg Barden, Mat Turner, Dan Norton and John Brake all scoring for England.

Shiel continued: “England was always going to be a difficult task because they are a very good team and have quality throughout their squad.

“We played well in the first half and James scored a very good try. However, we lost our handle on the game when we leaked a try just before half-time.

“England dominated the territory and possession in the second half and we couldn’t contain them.”

Team for England: Scott Riddell, Michael Fedo, Jame Eddie, Kerr Gossman, Colin Gregor, Peter Horne, Andrew Turnbull
Replacements: Struan Dewar (not used), Adam Ashe, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (not used), James Fleming, Ross Miller.

The Scots showed improvements in their second game against Wales, going 12-0 up early in the second half with tries from Scott Riddell and James Fleming. However a sin binning for Andrew Turnbull allowed Wales to run in a last minute try, Richie Pugh touched down to steal the victory for the Welsh.

Shiel said: “We played well against Wales and controlled the territory and possession much better, but we didn’t close the game down when we were 12 points up. We scored two good tries but in the closing stage we weren’t sharp enough, which was very frustrating.

“Scott Riddell’s opening try was an excellent team effort with the support play we have been working on in training really standing out.”

Team for Wales: Scott Riddell, Michael Fedo, James Eddie, Kerr Gossman, Colin Gregor, Peter Horne.
Replacements: Struan Dewar, Adam Ashe, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (not used), James Fleming, Ross Miller.

In their third match of the pool games the Scots opened the scoring early against Tonga with Turnbull chipping over the opposition defence and collecting a perfect bounce to run in under the posts. They then extended their lead with a second score, this time from Peter Horne who touched down between the sticks. Both tries were converted by Colin Gregor.

Vasea Poteki however increased the pressure late in the game with two touchdowns, but this wasn’t enough to undo the Scots.

Shiel concluded: “It’s been a tough day but we have finished well and the team have gelled. Andrew Turnbull has been particularly outstanding in all aspects of the game.”

Team for Tonga: Scott Riddell, Michael Fedo, James Eddie, Kerr Gossman, Colin Gregor, Peter Horne.
Replacements: Struan Dewar, Adam Ashe (not used), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (not used), James Fleming, Ross Miller (not used).