Scotland have won their first ever HSBC Sevens Series Cup Final beating South Africa in the most spectacular fashion imaginable by 27-26 .
Calum MacRae’s men have pushed on from last week’s Bowl Win at the Paris Sevens by going even further and winning the HSBC London Sevens, their first ever Cup Final win.
The victory came in the most unlikely circumstances at the very death with 2 tries in a minute and a half to pip the BlizBoks by a single point. Tries came from Jamie Farndale, and an incredible try from a driving maul for White (something rarely seen in the seven aside code), a spectacular solo try from Fleming and an amazing pair from Dougie Fife – the last of which was well into overtime.
The achievement is all the more amazing when you consider that only last year the SRU were planning to cut the Sevens funding and Scotstoun lost their rugby leg of the series to Paris.
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) May 22, 2016
They started off the first day of the tournament with a nervy 14-all draw draw against their French pool opponents with tries coming from Jamie Farndale and James Johnstone.
They then recorded a convincing victory against the dangerous Kenyans, who rank higher than Scotland, by 24-12 with tries coming from James Johnstone, Damien Hoyland, Scott Riddell and Mark Robertson.
Then came a struggling Portugal who Scotland comfortably defeated by 31-14 with tries coming from Jamie Farndale (2), Damien Hoyland and James Fleming (2).
Having defeated the English to win the Bowl Final at last week’s Paris Sevens they went into the game with the confidence that they could win. And they were right to be confident as they totally dominated Simon Amor’s men through tries from Robertson, Fleming and Hoyland without reply and recorded an impressive 17-0 win.
Watch: Scotland v England Cup Quarter Final
Next up it was the reigning Champions the USA in the Semi Finals for a chance to make history and make their first ever Cup Final. The American had drubbed the mighty New Zealand side earlier in the day by 42-14 with speedster Perry Baker scoring 4.
It didn’t look good for Scotland who went down 17-7 within a matter of minutes and it looked for all the world like the USA had won the game until Edinburgh’s departing man Dougie Fife intercepted a pass to win the game at the death by 17-24.
Watch: Scotland v USA Cup Semi Final
With a place in their first ever Cup Final against the no.2 ranked side South Africa the smart money had to be on the BlitzBoks, but after last week’s Bowl Final victory and the day’s heroics there was a feeling that anything might be possible.
However any optimism quickly evaporated when South Africa’s Senatla went in for the opening try after just 2 minutes. It was duly converted and the signs were ominous.
The Scotland team showed they weren’t there to make up the numbers with a well worked try for Farndale that went unconverted. The score stood at 5-7 after just 4 minutes.
The Scottish players then did some sterling work retaining the ball in the breakdown against a series of fierce South African counter rucks and were duly rewarded with some key penalties. This allowed them to get deep into the South African half and score an audacious pushover try through Scott White that looked more at home in the PRO12 than the Sevens Series.
So at Half Time the Scots led 10-7
After the short break the ball changed hands with neither side able to break through. South Africa’s press defence looked to have the better of the Scots and it eventually paid dividends leading to a try for Specman on the 14 minute mark, which Cecil Afrika duly converted. Their lead was further extended when Afrika went over and converted his own try to give them a seemingly unassailable 21-10 lead with just a minute and half left to go.
People were already walking out of the stadium with the result all but decided, however this Scotland team was not done and refused to give up flinging the ball from side to side and out of every tackle. It paid off with the Semi Final hero Dougie Fife going over with just 25 seconds to go.
The win still seemed impossible considering all South Africa had to do was claim the restart. Amazingly they failed to and Scotland pounced on the ball. A series of darting runs and high risk passes took the MacRae’s men ever closer to the line and, with the clock well into the red, Dougie Fife cut back inside the South African defence and scored the biggest try of his career to jubilant celebrations from every Scotsman and woman in the stadium.
The whistle was blown and Scotland had won by a single point to make the Final Score 26-27 and historic first ever Sevens Cup Final victory.
Congratulations to all the players and coaches.
You are the London Sevens 2016 Champions!
Following the victory in the final leg of the HSBC Sevens series all eyes now turn to the Rio Olympics with 4 of today’s Cup winning heroes, as well as Glasgow Warrior and XV player Mark Bennett, named in the training squad. Exciting times ahead for Scotland’s Sevens players.
What do you think of the result? Let us know in the comments below.