SCOTLAND WOMEN defeated Ireland 26-14 on Day Two of the final leg of the HSBC World Sevens series at Parc des Sports Aguiléra in Biarritz to secure an 11th place finish. They scored four tries in this final outing of the weekend through Megan Gaffney, Lisa Thomson, Rhona Lloyd and Helen Nelson (who also kicked three conversions).
Earlier in the day, Scotland lost 33-10 to Fiji in the Challenge Trophy semi-final. In the pool phase on Day One, they were well beaten (44-7) by tournament finalists and Series champions New Zealand, drew (24-24) with England and lost (31-15) to Russia.
Hannah Smith finished top of the DHL Performance Tracker for the tournament, which uses a statistical analysis of four key criteria – offloads, carries, line-breaks and tackles – to identify which individuals have had the biggest impact on the tournament and contributed to their team’s success.
Scotland were a guest team at the tournament, and their victory over Ireland was the first win by an invitational side all season. Team captain Nelson believes the overall experience will stand Scotland in good stead as they head into the Rugby Europe Women’s 7s Grand Prix series event [for non core World Series sides] in Marcoussis, France, at the end of the month, where they have been drawn in a pool against Italy, Ireland and Spain.
“It has been a great experience for us, we came here with not too much pressure or expectations on ourselves, we just wanted to take in the experience and build on it for our summer in Europe,” she said. “First up we played the Black Ferns (New Zealand) which is a new experience for us, and it is just cool to test yourself against the best in the world. We scored a try against them and we were happy with how we played.
“Then we had a tough two matches against England and Russia, but throughout the weekend we have improved and learned, and then to finish off with a win against Ireland is really cool. We’d worked really hard in our second game against England on Day One to get a draw, but when they scored a try in the last play it was tough for us, so to learn from that and hold for a win in the end [against Ireland] is great.”