Brazil won promotion to next season’s HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series after beating Scotland in the annual world series qualifier in Hong Kong
The World Series qualifier is without doubt the highest stakes and cruellest of international sevens tournaments. To the winner goes a place at all of next season’s World Series tournaments, with all of the development potential and World Rugby support that goes with it, and to everyone else there is an air ticket home.
And it is undoubtedly Scotland who will be feeling the disappointment most. Last out of the blocks when it came to the development of sevens in Europe, they were not even a European Grand Prix team until a couple of seasons ago. Despite playing in the first ever women’s sevens event twenty years ago, as a nation only Uganda had less experience of international sevens.
Yet Scotland performed superbly and beat overwhelming favourites Japan in the semi-finals, only to lose to Brazil in the final a few hours later.
That final was a game of cat and mouse for the first half. Scott Forrest's Scotland scored first before the Yarras held a slender 7-5 lead at the interval. Brazil went behind again early in the second half after Rhona Lloyd capitalised from the restart but a potent period followed.
Bianca dos Santos Silva raced away from Lloyd before Thalia da Silva Costa extended their lead again with four minutes left on the clock. It was a lead that they would not relinquish.
Brazil's were unbeaten throughout the two days, but their route to the final had been far from easy with all three pool games being won by only two points. They beat Poland by only 14-12, Kazakhstan nearly had the better of them in pool play, essentially inexperience and questionable decision costing the Kazakhstanis the game, and Argentina came an ace of an unparalleled upset, Brazil conceding an unheard of four tries against South American opposition and only ending the day
But – as is the way with sevens - day one proved no guide to day 2. the Yarras dominated a repeat match-up with Kazakhstan, a 21-5 victory booking a semi-final match-up against Kenya. In the final four, they continued to be precise with their work, working the ball well to their speedsters, and their clinical finishing helped them on their way to a 17-5 win.
"It's a little indescribable [the feeling] but we worked really, really hard for this. We just told ourselves to do everything we've been training to do and we finally did it," said vice-captain Isadora Cerullo after the full-time whistle.
"It's an amazing feeling. I'm incredibly proud, not just of the 12 players at the tournament because we're a much bigger group than that. We're looking to build even more, bring in a lot of new players and show everyone that our programme is growing and that we deserve to be back on the world circuit."
Pool A: Belgium 12-31 Scotland; Belgium 34-0 Mexico; Japan 27-19 Scotland; Japan 35-0 Belgium; Japan 54-0 Mexico; Scotland 38-5 Mexico
Pool B: Hong Kong 26-5 Uganda; Kenya 20-10 Papua New Guinea; Kenya 24-0 Uganda; Kenya 36-5 Hong Kong; Papua New Guinea 22-14 Hong Kong; Papua New Guinea 32-0 Uganda
Pool C: Argentina 12-17 Kazakhstan; Argentina 24-19 Poland; Brazil 14-12 Kazakhstan; Brazil 14-12 Poland; Brazil 26-24 Argentina; Kazakhstan 10-12 Poland
Quarter Finals: Kenya 17-15 Argentina; Brazil 21-5 Kazakhstan; Scotland 36-12 Papua New Guinea; Japan 27-7 Hong Kong
Semi Finals: Kenya 5-17 Brazil; Scotland 24-19 Japan
Final: Brazil 28-19 Scotland
Argentina: Moreno Andrea; Jaquelina Corzo Flores; Brisa Trigo; Josefina Padellaro; Renata Giraudo; Yamila Alejandra Otero; Deborah Elizabeth Fretes Hernandez; Maria Florencia Moreno; Sofia Mariel Gonzalez; Valeria Belen Montero; María Paula Pedrozo; Gimena Mattus. Coach: Daniel Villen
Belgium: Sytske D'Haeseleir; Emilie Musch; Evelien Rosier; Margaux Stévins; Manon Nairac; Cécile Blondiau; Carmen De Donder; Ciska De Grave; Margaux Pierson; Geertrui Vercaemer; Héloïse Stévins; Margaux Lalli; Coach: Emiel Vermote
Brazil: Luiza Gonzalez Da Costa Campos; Rafaela De Conti Zanellato; Leila Cassia Dos Santos Silva; Thalia Da Silva Costa; Isadora Cerullo; Aline Ribeiro Furtado; Isadora Lopes De Souza; Haline Leme Scatrut; Raquel Cristina Kocchann; Bianca Dos Santos Silva; Aline Mayumi Koeke Bednarski; Franciele Barros Martins; Coach: Dannielle Abreu
Hong Kong: Sham Sham; Nim Yan Melody Blessing Li; Ka Chi Christy Cheng; Hoi Yan Poon; Amy Jane Pyle; Ka Yan Chong; Tsz Ching Chan; Sarah Lucas; Jessica Wai On Ho; Stephanie Chor Ki Chan; Jessica Eden; Sau Yan Kwong; Coach: Iain Monaghan
Japan: Riho Kurogi; Yume Okuroda; Mateitoga Bogidraumainadave; Rinka Matsuda; Mele Yua Havili Kagawa; Honoka Tsutsumi; Yume Hirano; Iroha Nagata; Yuki Ito; Yoko Suzuki; Tomomi Kozasa; Chiharu Nakamura; Coach: Akane Kagawa
Kazakhstan: Nigora Nurmatova; Alina Askerova; Liliya Bazyaruk; Karina Proskurina; Olessya Teryayeva; Kundyzay Baktybayeva; Anna Yakovleva; Svetlana Klyuchnikova; Balzhan Koishybayeva; Darya Tkachyova; Lyudmila Korotkikh; Veronika Stepanyuga; Coach: Valerii Popov
Kenya: Sheilla Kavugwe Chajira; Philadelphia Olando; Sinaida Omondi; Janet Musindalo Okelo; Camilla Atieno; Grace Adhiambo Okulu; Christabel Lindo; Stella Nelima; Diana Awino; Janet Awuor Owino; Vivian Okwach; Sophia Ayieta; Coach: Ben Mahinda
Papua New Guinea: Joana Lagona; Kymlie Rapilla; Helen Abau; Fatima Rama; Debbie Kaore; Gemma Schnaubelt; Chelsea Garesa; Mavis Biyama; Yolanda Gittins; Alice Alois; Marlugu Dixon; Taiva Lavai; Coach: Ann Mooney
Poland: Julianna Schuster; Angelika Piekorz; Agnieszka Kowalczyk; Katarzyna Paszczyk; Anna Klichowska; Karolina Jaszczyszyn; Hanna Maliszewska; Monika Pietrzak; Natalia Pamięta; Sylwia Witkowska; Kinga Karlińska; Marta Nowosz; Coach: Janusz Urbanowicz
Scotland: Abigail Evans; Megan Gaffney; Annabel Sergeant; Hannah Smith; Chloe Rollie; Rhona Lloyd; Helen Nelson; Jennifer Maxwell; Mhairi Grieve; Elizabeth Musgrove; Louise McMillan; Lisa Thomson; Coach: Scott William Forrest
Uganda: 1. Charlotte Thereza Mudoola (Black Panthers) - captain; 2. Emilly Lekuru (Black Pearls) ; 3. Flavia Agenorwot (Black Pearls) ; 4. Grace Auma (Black Pearls) - assistant captain ; 5. Immaculate Mufuwa (Black Pearls) ; 6. Juliet Nandawula (Entebbe Ladies); 7. Mary Gloria Ayot (Black Pearls); 8. Nakityo Aisha Nabulime (Thunderbirds) - assistant captain ; 9. Peace Lekuru (Entebbe Ladies); 10. Peace Mirembe (Black Panthers); 11. Proscovia Ayero (Black Pearls) - debut for Uganda; 12. Ritta Nadunga (Black Panthers); ; Head Coach: Helen Koyokoyo Buteme