Victory over France gives Six Nations wooden spoonists a glimmer of hope for the future At the end of a unbearable few months for the kilted hordes - a wooden spoon in the Six Nations pouring salt into the gaping wound of the unbearable Sassenach's World Cup victory - Scotland's sevens squad offered a ray of light at the end of the long dark tunnel that has been the struggle to adapt to the professional era north of the border. Seeing his side lift the Plate after a thoroughly deserved 28-22 victory over France in the final, Scotland's new coach Rob Moffat said, while principally a consolation for a team that had hopes of qualifying for the Cup competition, that the triumph would deepen their talent pool. 'Scotland need to develop more rugby players and a great way to do it is through sevens,' he said. 'Young players in an atmosphere like this can only improve.' The views of Moffat, an assistant coach for the Borders team, were echoed by one of his club players,Calum MacRae, who finished the tournament as Scotland's top scorer with four tries and 34 points. 'I think the union has finally got it right,' said the 24-year-old. 'From here on in we're hoping to progress positively. The change of management and the structure is right and sevens is a good way to blood young players in international rugby. I can't speak highly enough of Rob Moffat. He has been outstanding keeping the older guys ticking over and bringing on the younger players.' Losing Plate finalists for the previous two years, the Scots finally claimed the silverware on the back of a more consistent conversion rate in a match of four tries apiece. From the moment Olivier Toulouze missed from smack bang in front of the posts at 10-5, Scotland seemed to have an edge and Paul Boston and MacRae quickly crossed for a 21-10 half-time lead. Although the French responded after the interval with scores from Franck Larquet and Renaud Dulin to take a one-point advantage, the Scots still looked likely winners, a destiny confirmed by Kenny Sinclair who chipped through for the game-winning score. 'We knew the game plan we had to do - keep moving the French around and avoid contact - and we did that,' said MacRae. 'It was a job well done. I'm really happy. All the hard work we've put in has paid off.' A true mark of the Scots success is that they finished highest of all the nations making their first appearance of the season in the IRB Series, a fact that was not lost on their captain Mark Lee, who was quick to make a comparison with Canada, the side who beat them in last year's Plate final. 'We've done really well to get as far as we have,' he said. 'The thing with Canada is they've played a couple more tournaments and look a lot sharper than the teams playing for the first time. There's a lesson in that somewhere.' The Scots, who beat the weary Kenyans 19-7 to reach the final, were however extremely fortunate to be anywhere near the deciding match. In the quarter-final against Italy they were trailing 10-17 as the hooter sounded and playmaker Johnny Weston found himself caught in a three-man stranglehold over the tryline. However the Italians drove him back into play and Weston scored from the ensuing passage, Colin Gregor converted and then settled the tie in sudden death extra-time when Javier Dragotto infringed insanely at a ruck. 'It was lucky,' Gregor admitted. 'I think the Italians were a bit too keen pushing us back. I was worried if we did get held up that it was game over. As for taking a drop goal in extra-time, it does get the heart racing, but you just have to believe in yourself.' The French, meanwhile, were left admitting that they had come up a fraction flat when the trophy was on the table. 'We were aggressive throughout the tournament, but we lacked a little bit in the final,' Julien Carraud conceded. 'We lack a little experience and a little fatigue cost us dear, but I think we've proved to the Hong Kong public that we can play the game.' Like the Scots, France had had their sights set on the Cup competition, but for the sixth time in a row in the IRB Series this season had to settle for the Plate after a narrow 12-0 loss to Argentina in their final pool game. 'We have posed problems for all the big teams, but we're not quite ready to beat them,' admitted coach Thierry Janeczek. 'Against Argentina we could have won, but we just couldn't finish the action.' Arguably the most disappointed side in the Plate were the Kenyans, who had been tagged as the side to fear after their pool performances. However, even in their 21-0 quarter-final victory over Hong Kong, there were sign of fatigue and it was little surprise when Scotland turned them over. 'I think mentally we did get tired and they started doing everyone else's job rather than their own,' said Kenya's 29-year-old English coach Ben Harvey, who only joined the Africans two weeks ago. 'I'm disappointed. I expected us to reach the final, but Scotland played well. Still we've done well. The improvements we've made, especially defensively, have been very good.'