Scotland suffering from 'Jekyll and Hyde disorder'
It was a case of split personalities for Scotland over the weekend: producing unexpected results over top teams Samoa and England, only to lose concentration against the bottom three - and it may see Scotland join them, warned coach Stephen Gemmell.
"At this level, against any team, you can't afford to do that and we've done that three times this weekend," said Gemmell.
Scotland held third-ranked Samoa to a 12-12 draw and defeated England 14-5 in the pool rounds, but only after being served a 27-21 defeat by Portugal on Friday.
But the team fell apart yesterday, losing 12-21 to bottom-ranked United States in the Bowl semi-final. Then a late try from James Fleming was not enough to redeem the sleeping Scotsmen in the battle for the Shield, losing 12-7 to Argentina in the semi-finals..
"I'm massively disappointed," said Gemmell. "That's not the Scotland team I know and it's not the Scotland team that played yesterday and showed how good they are.
"We made too many mistakes. We haven't played to our ability this weekend - we haven't even turned up."
Scotland are in danger of being sucked into the bottom three in the world series - and that means playing in the qualifier in London in May to retain core-team status.
"We need to make sure we're not in the three bottom teams and that will be tough. We can't afford that to be the case."
Gemmell believes a drop in concentration was to blame for the lack of consistency.
"I don't know if it's a lack of belief when the pressure comes on," he said.
Scotland now have a week to regroup before the seventh leg of the series in Japan.
"We need to look at our game and our individual roles and make sure the team that came out yesterday is able to come out for six games in Japan."