Scotland 7s will compete in the Cup quarter-finals against Australia (7.22am BST) at the Dubai 7s tomorrow (Saturday 6 December, live on Sky Sports 3), after finishing second in Pool B today.
The team opened their campaign in the second leg of the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series with an impressive, hard-fought victory over Samoa, which ended 21-14.
Their second match was a far more frustrating affair as they were defeated at the hands of HSBC Sevens World Series defending champions New Zealand, 43-0.
However, they ended the first day of competition scoring seven tries against Japan, completing the game 47-0.
The side secured a Cup quarter-final at the same time last year and in their home event at the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s back in May, where they matched their best ever finish in a circuit event – a Cup semi-final.
Head Coach, Calum MacRae, said: “I’m pleased with the results today. The players have worked very hard over the past six weeks and it’s nice to see the hard work they are putting in starting to pay off.
“The main thing from the two wins was that we went back to basics and did them very, very well. We have had key focuses on our attack structure and defence system in recent weeks and we have stuck to them. When we were doing that we looked cohesive.
“At the start of the Samoa game we couldn’t get the ball and they controlled the game, but once we won possession the guys maintained their concentration and secured the win.
“It’s also very pleasing that we held Japan scoreless. The team showed a lot of character to pick themselves up after the New Zealand game.
“Looking ahead to tomorrow, we have learned a lesson from our last match against Australia on the Gold Coast. In that game we went ahead and then let them back in into tie and they won.
“We will need to control the tie and match them physically. They are a strong outfit who work hard for each other.
“If we stick to our principles it should be a good game, where we can hopefully continue to build our confidence.
“Finally, I’m pleased for Gavin Lowe who won his first cap against the best team in the world today. I know he will go on and grow from that.”
Against Samoa, the Scots were 14-0 down after three minutes, but clawed their way back into the tie, ensuring things were all square at the break, 14-14, following tries from captain Scott Wight and James Johnstone.
Mark Robertson then scored a third try at the outset of the second period and with Colin Gregor’s three conversions that was enough to secure the win.
In their second match the Scots were unable to hold onto possession as New Zealand commanded the tempo from start to finish.
Their was a hat-trick for Ambrose Curtis, a brace for Gillies Kaka and one try each for Murphy Taramai and Joe Webber.
Finally, against Japan the Scots were back on form and touched down seven times with a quality passing display and a clever kicking performance from Wight.
Gregor scored a brace in the match bringing his points total today to, 28, making him the second top points-scorer of the day, behind Fiji’s Osea Ramodi Kolinisau.
There were also tries for James Eddie, Wight, Johnstone, Lee Jones and Robertson in that match.
Scotland 21-14 Samoa
Tries: Scott Wight, James Johnstone and Mark Robertson
Conversions: Colin Gregor (3)
Starting team: Scott Riddell, James Eddie, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Scott Wight CAPTAIN and Lee Jones.
Replacements: Colin Shaw, Gavin Lowe (both 9 mins), Joseva Nayacavou, Damien Hoyland (both 13 mins) and Nyle Godsmark (not used).
Scotland 0-43 New Zealand
Starting team: James Eddie, Mark Robertson, Nyle Godsmark, James Johnstone, Scott Wight CAPTAIN, Lee Jones and Gavin Lowe.
Replacements: Scott Riddell, Colin Gregor (both 7 mins), Damien Hoyland, Joseva Nayacavou (both 8 mins) and Coli Shaw (10 mins).
Scotland 47-0 Japan
Tries: Colin Gregor (2), James Eddie, Scott Wight, James Johnstone, Lee Jones and Mark Robertson
Conversions: Colin Gregor (6)
Starting team: Scott Riddell, James Eddie, Mark Robertson, James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Scott Wight CAPTAIN and Lee Jones.
Replacements: Colin Shaw (8 mins), Damien Hoyland, Joseva Nayacavou (both 10 mins), Nyle Godsmark and Gavin Lowe (12 mins).