The Scots won two games out of three on day one of the fourth leg of the series, their best run of results since reaching the same stage in May 2010 at Murrayfield. First up they beat Fiji 14-12, then Portugal 19-17, but then lost to Australia 29-5 in their final match.
Interim head coach Stephen Gemmell said: “Credit to the players for their workrate today. They were very disciplined, they made their tackles, took their opportunities and believed in themselves. Particularly in the first two games, their body language was very confident.
“We have fulfilled our task for day one in reaching the Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 20 tournaments. It’s a bit ironic playing England tomorrow given the rest of the weekend’s fixtures back in the UK, but the crossover was always going to be a challenge. Tomorrow is about getting as many points for our series campaign as possible. The team played as a unit today, which was very pleasing, and they deserve to have reached this stage. For a number of the young players this is their first time getting this far in a tournament.”
The Scots opened against Fiji and, at half-time, the scores were tied after a Michael Fedo try and Colin Gregor conversion a minute from the interval. Fiji quickly took the lead in the second half when Samisoni Viriviri dotted down, but the conversion was missed and, two minutes from the end, Andrew Turnbull crossed the whitewash and Gregor converted.
The tryscorers against Portugal were Mark Robertson and Scott Riddell, while James Fleming touched down for the consolation try against Australia.