Scotland have won the London Sevens title for a second successive time, while South Africa celebrate winning the overall series championship.
Scotland won their second London Sevens title in a row after overturning an early deficit to beat England 12-7 at Twickenham yesterday (21st May).
Dan Norton’s spectacular try put the hosts in-front at half time, though Hugh Blake put Scotland level after half-time before captain Scott Riddell scored a try late in the game.
The loss of Ollie Lindsay-Hague to injury halted England’s momentum, allowing Blake to score the game-tying try. Continued pressure from the Scots then led to Riddell’s winning try. Even Scott Wight’s missed conversion could not put a damper on a victorious afternoon.
With head coach Calum MacRae leaving the international fold and players Mark Robertson and Scott Wight bidding farewell to the game, it was a fairytale ending for the Scots.
Robertson ends his Scotland career with over 100 tries in the World Series, and he also played for Team GB in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Wight ends his career with 29 caps and 23 tries in the Sevens World Series.
South Africa win overall series, but fail to finish in style
The Sevens World Series saw South Africa finish on top with a total of 192 points. Tournament wins in Dubai, Wellington, Sydney, Las Vegas and Paris along with eight semi-final appearances helped them on their way to the championship.
South Africa clinched the overall title in the Paris Sevens tournament when they beat Scotland 15-5 in the final thanks to tries from Werner Kok, Dylan Sarge and captain Phillip Snyman.
It is the second time the Blitzboks have won the overall title after finishing in the number one spot in 2008/9. However, they could not win the final tournament of the season, as England beat them 17-12 in the London quarter-finals thanks to a late try from Norton.
How did the British teams fare?
England finished second with 164 points and will be disappointed they could not push South Africa further, while Fiji, New Zealand and USA made up the top five.
For England, it’s a big improvement from 2016 when they finished eighth. The series saw some landmark victories such as a 19-7 win over South Africa in the Vancouver Sevens final. Speedster Dan Norton continued his phenomenal form, finishing second in the try charts with 51, just behind American Perry Baker’s 57.
Despite their victory in London, Scotland couldn’t do enough throughout the series to make a push for the championship, finishing seventh with 109 points. However, their performances in Paris and London show a resurgence in form and they can expect to mount a more serious challenge in 2018.
Wales will be disappointed with their final position of 13th, but there is room for growth in the young side. Ethan Davies and Sam Cross proved to be consistent performers in particular. Davies finished second to USA’s Perry Baker in the points table, scoring 281 and constantly posing a threat to defences. Coach Gareth Williams will be hoping they build on their progress and move up the final table next year.