Scotland were overrun by the US in their fifth to eighth place semi-final at the Rugby World Cup Sevens event at AT&T Park in San Francisco last night.
The hosts, cheered on by a vocal crowd, got off to a great start and looked like they were going to score in the second minute only for captain for the tie Robbie Fergusson to make a try-saving tackle on Danny Barrett.
If that one was good, Harvey Elms’ tackle on US skipper Madison Hughes in the corner as he was about to touch down for a score was even better soon after.
However, Currie Chieftains’ Elms, pictured, blotted his copybook with a couple of minutes of the half remaining when he needlessly knocked the ball away when the US had been awarded a penalty.
He was yellow-carded and while he was off the field Maka Unufe stormed through for the home side’s first try which was converted by Hughes.
Scotland had a couple of breaks before the interval, a good one from Gavin Lowe resulting in nothing due to a lack of support, and the US punished them.
Their second try came from Hughes with the same man converting and it was 14-0 at the interval.
The trend of great cover tackles by Scotland continued just after the interval when Jamie Farndale managed to get speedster Perry Baker into touch when he looked like scoring try number three.
The third score did come only seconds later for replacement Brett Thompson, though, and, with Hughes converting, Scotland had a mountain to climb at 21-0 down. Try as they might, John Dalziel’s side just could not string any phases of play together in attack and dangerman Max McFarland was kept quiet.
An amazing 80-metre solo try from former Glasgow Warriors’ man Carlin Isles, who had come off the bench for the rampant hosts, rubbed further salt into Scotland’s wounds and the players looked tired by this stage. Hughes converted and made the final score 28-0.
With this being Scotland’s 12th tournament of a long season, some of the players were out on their feet, simply not being able to match the Americans’ pace and power. That result left them to play one more match overnight for seventh or eighth place.
The Scots had ended up playing the USA on day three because on day two they could not hit the heights they had in their comeback win over Kenya in the last 16 on day one, losing to South Africa.
A Werner Kok double and one try for Justin Geduld – along with one conversion from Selvyn Davids – made it 17-0 at the break.
After the interval, Geduld scored a second try before Shakes Soyizwapi and Ruhan Nel also crossed the whitewash. Geduld and Davids added conversions. Alec Coombes collected Elms’ cross-field kick to finish in the corner for a consolation score from Scotland, but that one finished 36-5.