Borders duo help Scots reach World Series qualifiers

Lisa Thomson, left, and Chloe Rollie
Lisa Thomson, left, and Chloe Rollie

Scotland’s two Borders players made an excellent contribution as the Women 7s finished in fifth place in the second leg of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Kharkiv last weekend.

As the second-highest ranking non-World Series core nation, they have secured their place in the 2020 World Series Qualifiers.

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 45-0 win against Ukraine followed with seven unanswered tries – the last of which was scored by Chloe.

The final pool match was against France and the World Series core nation won 22-14, with Chloe scoring another try.

On day two, Scotland played a strong Russian team in the Cup quarter-finals. A try from Chloe gave Scotland the lead but Russia, the eventual Grand Prix Series Champions, won 22-7.

Scotland then played Italy in the 5th-8th ranking semi-finals. A close match, in which Lisa weighed in with a try, saw Italy take the lead with a minute to go and Scotland down to six players.

But a final-play score from Rachel McLachlan, her first for the national squad, gave Scotland the win.

The final 7s game of this year came against Belgium, with Lisa helping Megan Gaffney to a try. Chloe powered over for another as Scotland won 36-7.

Head coach Scott Forrest told Scottish Rugby’s website the goal of getting back to the World Series Qualifiers for next year had been accomplished, while day two’s performance was very good.

“The team played very well against Russia, especially in the first half, when we were a try each at half time. The reality of playing against a quality team and the eventual Champions of the Grand Prix Series showed in the second half.

“The big thing from the Italy game was the belief we showed. We were a score down and down to six players, but the belief the players showed and the real intent was great to see.”