The future’s bright for Scotland after bowling over Kenya at Hong Kong Sevens
Scotland claim Bowl with narrow win over African side
Scotland coach Calum MacRae is excited for the future after watching his side beat Kenya 21-19 in the final of the Bowl competition on Sunday at the Hong Kong Stadium.
Over the three days at the Hong Kong Stadium, MacRae fielded five youngsters with a grand total of eight caps between them as the Scots continued their sevens rebuilding programme – highlighted by their third place at the Wellington Sevens.
“I think with the squad we’ve assembled it’s really a tournament we’ve grown in,” said MacRae. “We’ve got five guys in the squad with a total of eight caps between them and, for their development, it’s been a good learning experience.
“The first couple of days there were disappointments and challenges but we have put them behind us and came on the last day with three very good wins.”
Scotland came into the tournament ranked eighth in the world series with 53 points. They earned eight points for their Bowl title on Sunday.
The Scots opened with a 22-14 defeat by Argentina in their pool D clash on Friday. They suffered further losses on Saturday, against the United States (19-14) and Russia (14-5).
It was bleak reading for Scottish fans after two days but on Sunday they made up for it with victories against three strong teams.
A 26-21 quarter-final win over Samoa was followed by an equally impressive 21-19 triumph over France in the semis, before overcoming Kenya in the final.
MacRae said the Scots were capable of challenging for more titles in the remaining three tournaments this season.
“We feel that against any opposition, if we are accurate in our actions and deliver on the things we speak about then we’ve got the mindset that anything is achievable,” said MacRae, who is looking at the 2016-17 season as a platform for developing the young players.
“First and foremost, we must go back at the end of the season and look at the players we want to develop, as well as the core group, and take them forward. We have some very good young players.”
Kenya opened the scoring on 1:19 with a try by Frank Wanyama, converted by Samuel Oliech for 7-0.
The Scots hit back on 5:53 after a period of intense pressure as Grayson Hart scurried away from a ruck to score and give Scott Wright an easy conversion to level at 7-7.
James Fleming extended Scotland’s lead right on the half-time hooter with the conversion making it 14-7 but Kenya put themselves back in it with Dennis Ombachi touching down in extra-time.
Scotland led 14-12 at half-time before Fleming scored his second soon after the interval and Wight converted to make it 21-12.
Kenya had one final surge deep into added time and Andrew Amonde went under the posts but it was too late to deny Scotland.