Sevens: Scots slump to Shield loss at hands of Zimbabwe

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SCOTLAND’S “embarrassing” sevens form continued yesterday as they were put out by Zimbabwe 21-14 in the Shield semi-final of the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The Scots were unable to back up a victory on day one against series runners-up Fiji and lost their opening day two match 19-17 to Kenya

Head coach Phil Greening, said: “We didn’t play to our standards and were punished. Our South African campaign has been disappointing and day two has been embarrassing.”

On the scoresheet in the two matches was Michael Fedo with a brace against Kenya, while Mark Robertson also touched down against Kenya and Scott Riddell and James Fleming scored against Zimbabwe. Captain Colin Gregor converted three times.

Meanwhile, New Zealand claimed their fourth straight South Africa Sevens title with a rampant 47-12 win over France in the final at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The New Zealanders swept to their sixth title in the last seven events in South Africa after rebounding from a pool-stage loss to Fiji on Saturday. They beat Wales 35-7 in the quarter-finals, the hosts 12-5 in the semis and were then far too strong for the French.

The series leaders and two-times defending IRB sevens champions outscored France seven tries to two for their first tournament victory of the season after losing in the finals in the opening two rounds in Australia and Dubai – to Fiji and Samoa, respectively.

Kurt Baker crossed for three tries for New Zealand in the final and also played a major part with a try in the semi-final against South Africa as the Kiwis turned around a 5-0 halftime deficit to make it to their third consecutive final of the 2012-13 season. They didn’t slip up this time as they led throughout following Baker’s second-minute try. Sam Dickson, Milford Keresoma, Tim Mikkelson and Ben Lam also scored while playmaker Tomasi Cama kicked six out of seven conversions for 12 points on coach Gordon Tietjens 57th birthday.

“An awesome birthday present,” Tietjens said. “The players performed magnificently. ”

South Africa finished third overall with a 35-0 win over Argentina, who had earlier surprised Fiji 15-12 in the quarters.

The Argentinians fell dramatically to France 10-7 in the last four, however, when Manoel Dall Igna scored a try for the French two minutes into added time at the end to take their semi-final to extra time. Terry Bouhraoua then kicked a sudden-death penalty in extra time to win a place in the final. The Argentinians had an earlier kick at goal in extra time that would have won the game for them, but Gaston Revol hit the post.

Wales beat Fiji 26-14 in the Plate final, Australia also outscored Samoa 26-14 to take the Bowl and Spain hammered Zimbabwe 33-0 in the Shield decider.

The fourth round of the series is in Wellington on 1-2 February.

Results: Cup, quarter-finals: South Africa 17, United States 7; New Zealand 35, Wales 5; France 10, Portugal 7; Argentina 15, Fiji 12. Semi-finals: New Zealand 12, South Africa 5; France 10, Argentina 7 (aet). Third place: South Africa 35, Argentina 0. Final: New Zealand 47, France 12.

Plate, semi-finals: Wales 26, United States 19; Fiji 26, Portugal 12. Final: Wales 26, Fiji 14.

Bowl, quarter-finals: Australia 24, Zimbabwe 14; Kenya 19, Scotland 17; Samoa 36, Canada 21; England 14, Spain 7. Semi-finals: Australia 24, Kenya 21; Samoa 15, England 12. Final: Australia 26, Samoa 14.

Shield, semi-finals: Zimbabwe 21, Scotland 14; Spain 29, Canada 12. Final: Spain 33, Zimbabwe 0.