Scotland Sevens' Mark Robertson: Beating New Zealand tops London Sevens title

Mark Robertson gets away from Fiji's Vatemo Ravouvou at the recent HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris
Mark Robertson gets away from Fiji's Vatemo Ravouvou at the recent HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris

Mark Robertson claims beating England to win the London Sevens title did not surpass the feeling of defeating New Zealand for the first time.

Scotland Sevens ran out 24-21 winners over the Kiwis in the quarter-finals before beating the USA 21-14 in the semis and the hosts 12-7 in the final.

"When you win something like that, it never feels quite as euphoric as you expected it to," said Robertson, 32.

"Nothing could supersede the euphoria we felt from the New Zealand game."

Robertson described the win over England at Twickenham later in the day as "surreal" and the "accumulation of three seasons" of work, as Scotland retained the only World Sevens Series they have ever won.

He told BBC Scotland: "Because we had been waiting so long to beat the Kiwis, to be the first Scottish side to ever do that was a huge thing for us to tick off the list.

"The feeling after that, I can't describe. That was a huge achievement.

"Credit to the Kiwis, they've managed to beat us on every occasion up until then and we've had some really tight games and they've managed to squeeze them all out.

Mark Robertson in action for Scotland Sevens against England
Mark Robertson tries to find a way past England in the final at Twickenham

"Once we had beaten them, we enjoyed it for five to 10 minutes in the changing room, but very quickly we knew what we wanted to do and we knew that we could do it."

While Robertson's team-mate Scott Wight is retiring to become Scotland Women's Sevens coach, he himself has decided to end his playing career on a high, having noticed that his speed and strength levels were not quite what they were in previous seasons.

"My body has started to creak a little bit," he admitted, adding that he was 10 years older than some of his team-mates.

However, although coach Calum MacRae is also leaving the set-up, Robertson sees a bright future for the national team, citing 22-year-old George Horne and players such as Grayson Hart and Jack Cuthbert as offering "a really good blend of abilities and composure".

And he is pleased to see Scottish Rugby back the sevens team.

He said: "For the Union (Scottish Rugby), it's got huge value because how else can you expose players to high-pressure situations in front of huge crowds, and also at elite level because we've only got two pro teams?

"They have really bought into it because they see its worth.

"Beforehand there wasn't that much of a purpose to the Scotland Sevens whereas now, in the middle part of the season, there's a real focus on development.

"At the start and end of the season, when you've got more 15s players available, you can really focus on the performance aspects of it and try to get some silverware."

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