MacRae delighted to prove a point as Scotland take sevens silver
Scotland head coach Calum MacRae believes his side have proved they are set up for sustained success after winning silver in the penultimate event of the HSBC World Sevens Series in Paris on Sunday.
Scotland memorably won their first-ever World Seven Series event at Twickenham a year ago and this was the first time they have returned to a Cup Final since – although they lost 15-5 to South Africa.
World No.2 outfit Fiji – a side Scotland had not beaten in four years – were spectacularly dispatched 24-0 in the quarter-final and auld enemies England downed 19-17, thanks to tries from George Horne, Scott Wight and Mark Robertson in the semi-finals.
But South Africa proved too strong second time around – despite Wight finishing off a lovely team move for a Scottish score – although MacRae refused to be down on his team.
"I'm incredibly proud of my players," he said. "The rugby they played over the two days of competition was as good as I've seen.
"The players worked hard for each other. We put a tough two weeks of training in at home and a lot of it transferred onto the field.
"The players are naturally disappointed but mainly due to the manner of the loss in the final. To win big games, the basics and set-piece need to be there – we lost concentration and it cost us.
"There were so many performances in the group. George Horne was tremendous, his competitive edge and energy adds a lot to us.
"We showed that last year in London wasn't a flash in the pan. We didn't get across the line but will use the disappointment as a positive driver."
Scotland will return to Twickenham next week looking to defend the crown they won 12 months ago, and France, Argentina and Russia will be their Pool B opponents.
England will need to pick themselves up for their home event after they faded in Paris after a promising start.
Having beaten USA 26-12 in the quarter-finals, the narrow semi-final defeat to Scotland was followed by a 12-5 defeat to New Zealand in the bronze medal match and head coach Simon Amor was left to rue some untimely injuries.
"I'm really pleased with the effort shown by the boys right through the weekend," said Amor. "Putting in those levels of effort was a strong focus for us and we played some good rugby on occasions.
"Unfortunately the nature of sevens means you pick up bumps and without Dan Bibby and Tom Bowen on day two, we had to throw a lot of our young guys into completely different positions.
"It was brilliant to see them giving it everything on the field and just adapting to the situation – they will learn a lot from this experience.
"Everyone is excited about playing in their home tournament next weekend to finish the World Series – there is so much about that event that we are looking forward to."