Rugby: Scottish Thistles denied plate

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Scottish Thistles finished fifth at the end of the opening round of the eight-team GB7s at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay, to give the young Scots side a degree of confidence ahead of this weekend’s second leg of the three-part 
series at Meggetland.

The Scots, fielding a team with mixed sevens experience, lost all three of their pool matches 
with defeats to Crawshays Welsh (38-21), Marauders (21-19) and then Samurai, captained by Selkirk’s Fraser Harkness, with a 35-5 reverse.

“Most of the teams in this competition are full of genuine sevens specialists and it was not surprising that our guys took time to get going, but we improved as the games went on.,” said Scotland sevens head coach, Stephen Gemmell. “Overall it was a worthwhile exercise.

“Next weekend will give this group of players another opportunity,” added Gemmell, who picked out Liam Steele and Darren Clapperton as two players who impressed him.

Thistles showed their improvement by overrunning the Irish Exiles in the plate semi- final, with two tries by the 
Melrose player, Richard Mill, and three conversions from Andrew Skeen helping the Scots to a 
38-5 win.

The Scots looked to be heading for victory in the plate final but, with the last touch of the ball, Marauders produced a try and conversion to win by 28-26.