Scottish Sevens side lift Shield after early exit from Bowl

Scotland Sevens team clinched the Shield at the the Wellington Sevens with a 19-17 win over the Cook Islands on Saturday.

Hopes of winning the Bowl had fallen flat at the first hurdle, when Graham Sheil’s team proved no match for Kenya, going down 14-5 to fall in to the Shield competition, Byron McGuigan scoring the Scots’ consolation.

Next they faced the United States. Within four minutes they scored twice, McGuigan crossing the whitewash again, followed by James Fleming. In the second-half, USA matched their two scores with Roland Suinala scoring twice. Captain Colin Gregor’s two successful conversions tipped the balance in the Scots’ favour for a 14-12 win.

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The final match against Cook Islands was evenly matched for the most part. The Scots’ opponents had the upper hand before Gregor dived in for his second try of the match with 15 seconds to go and stole the 19-17 win. His efforts were bolstered by two conversions and a third touchdown by Michael Fedo. Scotland will travel to Las Vegas to compete in the fifth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series next weekend, initially taking on England, Kenya and Brazil.

Shiel said: “It’s been a difficult weekend. We just didn’t get started against Kenya. We had very little possession and under-achieved. It was not a nice way to start the day but we paid the price and had to move on. Against the United States we put more character into our performance and we improved a bad situation and got the outcome we needed. The Cook Islands was more difficult and with a few minor knocks we were limited and couldn’t really open the gap between us and them.

“The players are determined to make amends for the Bowl disappointment by refocusing and performing as well as they can in Las Vegas.”

New Zealand now lead the HSBC Sevens World Series with 73 points, having won the Wellington Sevens. They beat Fiji 24-7 in the Cup final.