Scotland women finish fifth to reach World Series qualifiers

Oban’s Abi Evans and Glencoe’s Helen Nelson.

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Scotland Women 7s recently finished in fifth place in the second leg of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

This result means they have secured fifth place finish for the series and, as the second highest ranking non-world series core nation, they have secured their place in the 2020 World Series Qualifiers.

Captain Helen Nelson, from Glencoe, said: ‘It was a tough start to the weekend, losing to Poland. We built on our performances from there and fought hard for a fifth place finish.

‘Overall it has been a really positive season and we have secured a spot in the World Series Qualifiers which was our main goal.
‘I am really proud of the girls and the improvements we have made this year.’

Scotland faced a tough pool group where they were joined by Poland, France and hosts Ukraine.

Their opening match was against Poland and this tight encounter resulted in Poland winning 17-12. A comfortable win against Ukraine followed with seven unanswered trys. The final pool match was against France where the world series core nation won 22-14.

On day two, Scotland played a strong Russian team in the cup quarter finals. Russia, the eventual Grand Prix Series Champions, won 22-7. Scotland then played Italy in the 5th-8th ranking semi-finals. A close match saw Italy take the lead with a minute left on the clock and Scotland down to six players. A final play score from Rachel McLachlan, her first for the national squad, gave Scotland the win.

Head coach Scott Forrest said: ‘We achieved our goal of getting back to the World Series Qualifiers for next year so well done to all players involved in the last two tournaments.

‘We have come a long way this season. Looking back to where we were a year ago, the programme has moved on massively and that is down to the commitment of the players.

‘This has been my sixth season coaching the sevens and has definitely been the most enjoyable.

‘A big part of that is due to the group of players and the staff that I have had the pleasure of working with this year.

‘Everyone has looked to improve themselves and I have improved as a coach as a result of their willingness to learn, develop and challenge themselves.’