Scots suffer miserable start to Dubai sevens

Fiji's Isikeli Tuiwainunu Vuruna breaks away fron Scotland's James Johnstone. Picture: Getty
Fiji's Isikeli Tuiwainunu Vuruna breaks away fron Scotland's James Johnstone. Picture: Getty
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Scotland’s sevens team slumped to three straight defeats in the first day of the Emirates Airline Dubai 7s yesterday and will compete in the Bowl competition on day two, meeting Australia in the quarter-final this morning.

The Scots lost to Kenya 12-5, Fiji (22-14) and Spain (12-7) and head coach Phil Greening said: “It’s frustrating to have lost all our games today. We played well at times and, against Kenya and Spain, we were ahead for long periods.
However, we made decisions that resulted in us making mistakes and it cost us.”

On the scoreboard for Scotland was Michael Fedo, who scored the only points against Kenya, James Johnstone who touched down against Fiji and Darren Gillespie and Alex Glashan who both scored their first Scotland tries. Captain Colin Gregor added three conversions in the latter two matches.

A team of Scottish rugby legends, and a few guest stars, enjoyed a much more successful day, proving that they can beat some of the best in the business after reaching the final of the Dubai International Tens tournament.

The Xodus Steelers, sponsored by the Xodus Group, will play in front of 50,000 people this afternoon on the main pitch at the Dubai Rugby Sevens when they take on the English-based Christina Noble team in the final of the International Veterans Tens tournament.

The Scottish-based invitational side, led by former Scotland coach Frank Hadden, features a crop of ex-internationalists including Stuart Reid, Gavin Kerr, Andy Craig, Matt Mustchin and Craig Joiner. They progressed to the final after beating the Bali Legends 19-0 in the quarter-final, with two tries from All Black Caleb Ralph, while Duncan Hodge, the ex-Scotland stand-off now coaching Scotland, also touched down and added a conversion. The other points came from the boot of former England sevens star Howard Graham.

The third guest ‘Scot’ in the Steelers team, Springbok Thinus Delport, scored the opening try against Joining Jack in the semi-final after some nice build-up play involving Ralph, with Graham kicking the conversion and a subsequent penalty. Joining Jack, an English-based charity team, included Great Britain rugby league legends Paul Sculthorpe, Jason Robinson and Sean Long. Hodge scored his second try of the day before Ralph touched down for his sixth try of the tournament, and Dave Gorrie added a fourth just before the end to wrap up a 25-0 win.