Borders trio’s mixed fortunes
in South Africa

DESPITE an outstanding victory over Fiji, Scotland’s 7s squad bowed out of the Nelson Mandela Bay competition in South Africa with defeat to lowly Zimbabwe.

The team, which featured Darren Gillespie of Kelso, Hawick’s John Houston and Melrose’s Mark Robertson, lost 21-14 to the African side, a defeat described as “embarrassing” by head coach Phil Greening.

The Scots had a much better first day, with a narrow 14-7 loss to eventual tournament winners New Zealand, followed by a superb 21-19 victory over sevens specialists Fiji, a game in which both Gillespie and Robertson started. However, a 33-12 loss to England left Scotland in the Bowl contest for day two in Port Elizabeth.

Despite a try from Robertson, now contracted to Edinburgh, Scotland lost 19-17 to Kenya, and followed it up with the disastrous defeat to Zimbabwe in the Shield.

Gillespie was one of only two players not centrally contracted with the Scottish Rugby Union to feature in the 10-man squad.