SCRUM Web Editor Gary Heatly catches up with two members of the Scotland Women Sevens squad and hears them make a case for the defence:
Scotland Women Sevens are on fire in an attacking sense, but two of the squad’s players are adamant that their recent success has been built on solid defence.
The Scots won the Rugby Europe Trophy event in Ostrava, Czech Republic last month with new Head Coach Scott Wight taking charge for the first time.
In six games they scored 246 points – including 42 tries – over the weekend and now they are getting ready to head off to Hungary next week for the second competition.
Win that and they could be playing in a higher level competition in 2018, but no one in the camp is getting carried away.
They are, however, enjoying the amount of contact hours they have had as a squad as well as working with experienced Scotland Sevens man Wight as he begins his coaching career.
Chloe Rollie, the 22-year-old back from Murrayfield Wanderers, said: “Last year I was delighted to get my first sevens cap for Scotland and that exposure let me know what to expect.
“I think that the confidence gained by a number of us who were involved in the XVs 6 Nations really helped because we learned how to win and we learned how to stick to a game plan and see something out.
“Those results in February and March along with the support given to us by Scottish Rugby meant that when it came round to sevens season we were all raring to go.
“When we heard that Scott Wight was going to be the new Head Coach we were all excited and although there was a lot of new things to learn right from the first minute of the first camp at Oriam, we were all buzzing.
“There was a lot of competition for places while Scott made it clear, he knew we had good attacking players in the team, but he wanted to stress the importance of defence in sevens.
“You can score a try so quickly in that format and although we were really pleased with the number of tries we scored in the Czech Republic what perhaps pleased us even more was the fact that we only let in seven points all weekend.”
“We all know our roles on the pitch”
Hannah Smith was not involved in the 6 Nations, but a cracking end to the season for her including a starring role for Hillhead/Jordanhill in the Sarah Beaney Cup win saw her heading into the sevens set-up in fine fettle.
She earned her first sevens cap in the Czech Republic and the 24-year-old said: “What Scott made clear early on was that in defence we all needed to know our own roes and stick to them, but also that communication is key.
“The thing he tried to impress on us was that although a try can be scored in a few seconds, you can also lose one in a few seconds and that if the opposition do not have the ball then they simply cannot score.
“As a result by the time we went to the Czech Republic we felt very confident in our defensive structures and after we got off to a good start in the first game we never looked back.
“Scott has also backed us to have a go in attack when things are on and not to be scared to try something and that is exciting.
“There was a lot of pace in the squad that played in the Czech Republic and we all enjoy scoring tries and I think there is a lot of trust in the group and that leaves us looking forward to what is to come.”
Look out for our column by Scotland Women Sevens skipper Lisa Thomson early next week ahead of the Hungary event
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