It was their very first final appearance in all of their years in World Rugby Sevens. And it came with a huge win against South Africa, 27-26. In an inspiring performance at Twickenham, the home of English rugby, the Scottish team came back to overhaul what looked like a secure Springbok lead of eleven points going into the final moments of the game. Dougie Fife went over the line, close enough to the posts to claw back some points with a conversion: 26-15. With just six seconds to go, Scotland took possession from the kick-off and hung on to the ball like a bunch of Scottish Terriers. The horn sounded and still they pushed closer to the South African line. Dougie Fife took the ball and muscled his way over to score the winning try. The Flying Fife’s second and with it the Player of the Final Award. Scotland the Brave had won.
Earlier in the game, South Africa ran in four tries by Seabelo Senatla, Cecil Afrika (a great interception) and two from Rosco Spekman firing on all cylinders down the right wing. Scotland returned with tries by Jamie Farndale squeezing into the left corner and James Fleming out on the right.
Flying maul and a backward flip
There were theatrics and gymnastics as well. First the stage act: a full team effort by Scotland that is rarely seen in Sevens Rugby-a driving maul that led to Scotland’s second try, scored by Captain Scott Wight. After the game, he said that “It was something we were working on in practice. A trick move.” The other move was a bold, backward flip by Hugh Blake as he reached high and grabbed the ball from the kick-off for the second half. Maybe something to be considered by the Great Britain gymnastics team as well as the rugby sevens team as they prepare their squads for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.
Huge character win by Scotland the Brave
Scotland’s coach, Calum McCrae, was delighted. “It was a huge character win…with determination to come back and win,” he said. As the late, great Scottish rugby commentator, Bill McLaren might have said: “Oh, there will be a lot of celebrating in the highlands and the lowlands tonight.”