USA and Scotland aim to avoid relegation

(IRB.COM) Friday 3 May 2013
 USA and Scotland aim to avoid relegation
USA beat Scotland in the Plate final in Tokyo to leave the two sides in joint 12th in the Series

This weekend three teams will be relegated from the HSBC Sevens World Series.

From the 15 core sides, those finishing 13th, 14th and 15th after the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens will head to London next weekend to play in an eight-team tournament with Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Tonga, Russia and Georgia for three spots on the 2013/14 Series.

It's a situation all sides want to avoid, including this weekend's hosts Scotland who are currently sat in joint 12th place alongside USA on 46 points, with both teams looking to outperform the other.

USA v Scotland

Form (last 30 matches):
Won 12, drawn 2, lost 16
Day one pool fixtures: Portugal (13:04), England (16:10), New Zealand (19:21)

Scotland open their home tournament with a match against Portugal, a side they have beaten 16 times in 27 encounters despite losing 27-21 the last time the sides met in Hong Kong.They have also beaten rivals England this season, 14-5 in the pool stages in Hong Kong, but have never tasted success against New Zealand in 25 matches. Lee Jones and John Houston are back in the squad though and could provide that extra edge. Their squad is the second most-experienced however, behind England, with 226 events under their belts and will have the home support to feed off.

What he said: Scotland coach Stephen Gemmell, "Avoiding relegation would be our biggest achievement. There has always been enough to suggest we shouldn't be down here, as on our day we are capable of beating any team, and we have shown that.

"But I have said to the players, it doesn't matter where we are, we can't play the table, we have to play this as our home tournament and do our job. We have to play our rugby so the crowd can feed off that, and get behind us. They will be desperate for us to perform but we need to control that. "

Form (last 30 matches):
Won 8, drawn 2, lost 20
Day one pool fixtures: Russia (11:36), Wales (14:42) and France (18:37)

USA's Plate victory in Tokyo may prove all-important come the end of this tournament as it was Scotland they defeated to gain that extra Series point. They face the only non-core side in the tournament first, a side that is heading to London for a chance to qualify as a core team, but suffered a defeat to the Russians in the Bowl quarter finals at the 2012 Glasgow Sevens and have actually lost four of the six matches they have played against the RWC Sevens hosts. They will, however, be buoyed by their fifth victory in 22 encounters against Wales during the Tokyo Sevens, but will be looking for their first victory against France since the 2012 USA Sevens. They do have a clean bill of health though after scares to captain Mat Hawkins and the world's fastest rugby player, Carlin Isles.

What he said: Alex Magleby, USA coach, "We have a firm belief we will be fine. You don't want to be in this position but there is a lot of opportunity to learn when you are. When under this pressure it is a silver lining, especially ahead of a World Cup when they are must win situations. There are positives, you don't want to have to do it, but having gone through it we'll be better for it.

"Winning the trophy in Tokyo was important for us, and it makes that battle for 12th very competitive. I think both us and Scotland turned a corner in Tokyo and learned how to win. Our boys got some confidence seeing the systems work, so we can build on that."

Who do you think will finish in the bottom three? Let us know @irbsevens

Glasgow Sevens

Round 8
9-10 May 2015
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
City: Glasgow
Capacity: 15,000

Pool A
Pool B
Pool C
Pool D
  • DJ Forbes and John Moonlight
  • Colin Gregor - Glasgow Sevens
  • Virimi Vakatawa - Glasgow Sevens