Rugby: Scotland’s sevens slide to eighth after three defeats in Moscow
SCOTLAND had a difficult second day in second leg of the FIRA-AER GP European Sevens Series in Moscow, losing all three of their games against France (7-12), Ukraine (14-19) and Wales (21-35).
The defeats see them drop from sixth to eighth in the European rankings and will make their task in the final tournament in Odense, Denmark, next weekend more difficult.
On a positive note, however, Ayr’s Craig Gossman continued to show his attacking threat by adding two more tries to his hat-trick from Saturday.
Head coach Graham Shiel said: “Today has been disappointing overall. Every game was important but despite getting ourselves into a good position against Ukraine we let them back in and the loss was our own undoing.
“This group’s work rate has been exceptional over the weekend. They have struggled with the heat and the intensity of the international game and that really showed against Wales in the last game.
“However, they have justified their opportunity to be involved with Scotland 7s, but also realise that to play at this level they need to be fitter.
“We’re now looking forward to the World Cup qualifier [in Portugal in July] so for the final leg, next weekend in Denmark, we are going to bring in our professional players and get them playing rugby again.”
The Scots started the day with a low scoring match against France. They performed well but France just edged them by one try. The sole try scorer in this match was Gossman and his efforts were complemented by a conversion from captain Andrew Skeen.
Despite the loss there was still a chance for the Scots to win silverware and they met Ukraine in the Plate semi-final.
All looked well when they managed to gain a 14-0 advantage, with Ross Miller and Darren Gillespie touching down and Skeen converting both scores. But they let the lead slip in the second half and Ukraine stormed past them with three well-worked tries.
This saw them move into a seventh place play-off with Wales, who proved to be too much for the young Scots. On the score sheet in this match were Aberdeen Grammar back, Callum Anderson Anderson, Gossman and Skeen with one try each, all converted by Skeen.
On Saturday, Gossman got off to a good start on his first outing with the abbreviated national team by scoring three tries, a feat equalled by Anderson.
The Scots recorded two victories and two losses over Italy (31-7) and Portugal (20-5) and Germany (19-24) and Spain (21-24), respectively.
Afterwards Shiel said: “It was hugely disappointing and frustrating at the start of the day but the players have taken away a lot from the challenge.
“The win against Portugal was important for the squad. This showed we were able to compete with a very strong team and sevens nation.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east