After struggling in Pool D of the Hong King Sevens, Scotland turned the tables on their recent inconsistencies to lift the Challenge Trophy to cap a great weekend of shortened format rugby.

 

After a disappointing pool stage that saw them lose three games against Argentina, USA and then Russia, Calum MacRae’s men redoubled their efforts and celebrated wins over Samoa, France and then Kenya.

 

Drawn against Samoa in the Challenge Trophy, Scotland looked motivated to improve their performances on the final day and did so winning 26-21, with Hugh Blake, Grayson Hart, James Fleming and Darcy Graham scoring the tries.

 

Late tries from Blair Kinghorn and Joseva Nayacavou, added to Blake’s first half effort, saw Scotland edge past France and into the final, where they met the Kenyans.

 

In a gripping contest, the Scots rushed into a commanding lead thanks to tries from Hart and two from Fleming and despite a brave Kenya comeback, MacRae’s men held on for a morale-boosting 21-19 success.

 

The Head Coach said of his side’s silverware: “The learning curve was pretty steep with a number of new combinations in the squad. I was particularly pleased with the young players; they took lessons from the pool and bounced back with three wins.

 

“Darcy (Graham) and Blair (Kinghorn) found their feet, scoring some great tries at important times today and Grayson (Hart) got better with every game. The challenge now is for them to back up on today’s performance next week. James Fleming is becoming a top performer on the series and his all-round consistency has come a long way.”

 

The ninth place finish leaves Scotland in eighth overall on the World Series table and they have been drawn in Pool D against USA, New Zealand and Wales ahead of next week’s Singapore tournament.

 

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