Scotland lay down CGames marker in Glasgow
Scotland won all three of their first-day matches in Glasgow on Saturday to reach the quarter-finals of the latest round of the IRB World Sevens series.
The hosts defeated Australia (19-7), Spain (33-12) and the United States (26-0) to book a last eight-clash with South Africa on Sunday as they gave their supporters grounds for encouragement ahead of the Commonwealth Games sevens tournament in Glasgow in three months` time.
Series leaders New Zealand also went through Saturday unbeaten, seeing off title-rivals South Africa (19-5). Meanwhile Samisoni Viriviri scored five tries to take his series tally to 45 as Fiji beat Kenya, Wales and Argentina.
Canada beat both newly-promoted Japan and France and then held England to a highly creditable 7-7 draw in their final pool match. In the Cup quarter-finals New Zealand face Australia, England play Fiji, hosts Scotland face South Africa and Canada line up against Kenya.
Scotland coach Stephen Gemmell was delighted to see his side qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time since the second leg of the nine-stage series in Dubai in November.
"It is very special to do it in front of the home crowd and even more pleasing to do it with three wins," he said.
"The crowd were wonderful, we had a responsibility and we need to keep building as we have a home Commonwealth Games ahead in July. I would have bitten your hand off with this situation."
Canada coach Geraint John was equally elated after his men won their group.
"I think to finish off the day topping the pool, the players should be proud."
Australia coach Michael O`Connor said he hoped his team would put their experience of facing New Zealand to good use in their trans-Tasman quarter-final tie.
"At some stage, we have played them enough, the penny has to drop. It is always a great challenge when we play them, they are one of the toughest sides to play," he said.
"They can send out their B side and it will still be tough. It will be an enormous ask but this is why we play this game."
All Blacks Sevens captain DJ Forbes became New Zealand`s most-capped player in the abbreviated format when he took the field at Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday.
"It`s pretty special, I never thought I would be around this long. It is a team sport, the hard work that everyone else does helps me do my bit," Forbes said.
The 2013/14 Sevens Series concludes next week in London.