SCOTLAND’s hopes of claiming a medal in the Commonwealth Games Sevens tournament vanished this evening as the men’s squad lost 34-7 to Fiji in their quarter-final.
The Scots defended well in the opening exchanges of the match at the Coventry Stadium, keeping Fiji out for the first two minutes. Once they opened the scoring, however, the Pacific Islanders went from strength to strength. They were 17-0 up by the break thanks to three tries and a conversion, and they repeated that tally in the second half before Jordan Edmunds got a consolation score in the close seconds after a kick through from Kaleem Barretto. Matt Davidson converted.
“I’m disappointed overall – we did come here to medal and I’m not going to lie about that,” head coach Ciaran Beattie said. “When you come up against the best teams in the world you have to go out and roll the dice, and I felt we did that.
“We’ll sleep at night knowing we died trying. But we’re going to get up tomorrow and try and finish as the best Scotland Commonwealth Games team there’s ever been. That’s our aim now.”
Earlier a 34-0 defeat by South Africa meant the team finished second in Pool B, which put them into that last-eight tie against the Pool A winners. Elimination at the quarter-final stage means that Beattie’s squad now go into the fifth-place semi-finals, with a fifth-place final to follow if they are successful. Two sixth-place finishes are the best Scotland have managed in previous Games.
In the women’s tournament, Scotland will play England tomorrow evening in the fifth-place final. After having their semi-final hopes ended by two defeats on Day One, Scott Forrest’s side finished off in Pool B this morning with a 33-12 win over South Africa.
Rhona Lloyd scored a hat-trick in a match that Scotland had in the bag by half-time, which came with them 26-5 ahead. Emma Orr and Rachel McLachlan got the other tries, while Lisa Thomson had three conversions and Meryl Smith added one.
That result saw them end up third in the pool, and took them into a fifth-place semi-final against Sri Lanka, which they won 58-0. Lloyd scored four tries this time – three in the first half. Megan Gaffney scored two, Shona Campbell, Eilidh Sinclair, Caity Mattinson and Thomson got one each, and Thomson was on target with four conversions.
“We knew today was going to be our opportunity to get results, to get wins, and it was really pleasing to be able to do that,” Forrest said. “The South Africa one was a really big one – that was our first win ever at the Commonwealth Games.
“I would say job done against South Africa. We probably weren’t at our best, we made quite a few mistakes, but we showed enough good things to get the result.
“It’s tough on Sri Lanka – they don’t have a full-time sevens programme and don’t get many opportunities to play at this level. For us it’s quite a nice experience to play a team like that, because we would never get to play against Sri Lanka in any other environment.
“The positive from that game was the girls were very clinical. Those are the type of game where it’s very easy to go individual, go off script, but they were very clinical. It gave us the opportunity to try a couple of things before we play England.
“We’re absolutely buzzing at the opportunity to play England. Yes, it’s a fifth-place final, but in a finals session at an English home Commonwealth Games is brilliant. The Scottish support here has been excellent.
“It will be an interesting one. We beat them in Toulouse when they were missing a lot of their GB players. They’re all back now, but the two groups know each other really well from playing with and against each other. I’m looking forward to it – it’s a nice way to end the journey for us.”