Scotland reach last eight of Dubai sevens

Lee Jones, of Scotland, escapes a tackle from Alex Walker, of Wales, during their pool match in Dubai yesterday. Picture: Getty Images

Lee Jones, of Scotland, escapes a tackle from Alex Walker, of Wales, during their pool match in Dubai yesterday. Picture: Getty Images

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SCOTLAND have lifted their world sevens standing by guaranteeing a top-eight finish after securing their place in today’s cup quarter-finals.

Now they face former world series champions Fiji late this morning with a first Dubai semi-final spot the target.

Coach Stephen Gemmell said: “We started really well against Australia and played some good stuff, but got punished for some basic errors by Wales, and we said before the Spain game it was not about trying to score lots of points but just winning first to apply pressure to Australia.

“We now have Fiji and we know we can cause them problems. If we don’t give away the soft early tries we did today we can push on beyond the cup quarter-finals.”

Scotland had opened the day going behind to two early tries to Australia, but bounced back to win the tie 21-17, Colin Gregor scoring twice and John Houston once.

Wales scored two late tries against Scotland to win 31-19 and went on to secure their place in the last eight with a victory over Australia having earlier beaten Spain, but the Scots went on to beat Spain 21-14 and claim the runners-up spot in the pool.

The Xodus Steelers team of ex-Scotland internationalists and global veterans made it through to the final of the Dubai International Veterans event they won last year. Skippered by Jason White, the Steelers defeated another side with strong Scots links, the Crusaders, 26-0, then beat former winners Christina Noble Charity Foundation 7-0 to set up a final against the J9 Foundation, Joost van der Westhuizen’s charity set up to raise funds for research into Motor Neurone Disease.

Scotland sevens squad: S Riddell, M Maltman, A Glashan, C Gregor (capt), J Houston, L Jones, G Young, M Robertson, A Turnbull, J Johnstone, J Ferguson.

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