Scotland 7s had their best finish in an HSBC Sevens World Series event for five years at the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s, last weekend (3-4 May).
The Scots finished the competition in fourth place, claiming 15 circuit points and jumping up to 10th in the tournament rankings, proving that their medal hopes at this summer’s Commonwealth Games are still very much alive.
The last time they reached a Cup semi-final was in London and Edinburgh in 2009 when a third/fourth placed play-off was not up for grabs.
The team were bolstered by the inclusion of Scotland internationalists, Richie Vernon and Nick De Luca, who shone throughout the weekend. But, arguably the Scotland player of the tournament was full-time Scotland 7s professional, Scott Riddell.
As well as scoring three tries, Riddell played every minute of all six ties throughout the weekend, was impressive at the breakdown and powerful in defence.
He said: “I’m very proud of the way the team performed in Glasgow, but there are some regrets as to what could have been if we had got past Canada.
“This is a team game and it requires us all to be accurate in our roles and work to our structures in order to be successful and maintain consistency.
“We need to back up our performance in Glasgow. We have shown what we can do as a team and need to build on that as we compete in London and move closer to the Commonwealth Games.”
First the side won their group in Glasgow with an impressive opening victory in front of an 11,710 strong home crowd against Australia, 19-7, followed by wins over USA, 26-0 and Spain 33-12.
On day two, they started on a high note once again putting South Africa to the sword in a closely fought Cup quarter-final. They defeated the Springboks, 12-7 to reach their third ever Cup semi-final.
Next-up were Canada and a win here would have secured them their first ever Cup final. However, it was not meant to be as the Canadians dominated the breakdown and possession to pip the win, 10-7. The Scots then ended their campaign losing out to Fiji, 17-10.
Scotland 7s head coach, Stephen Gemmell, made it clear at the beginning of the Glasgow 7s week that the Glasgow and London competitions, the final, of 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series event, would be used to finalise his selection for Glasgow 2014. He will announce his squad of Wednesday 21 May.
You can follow Scott on Twitter @Riddell07
Photo credit: Scottish Rugby