Warriors Help "A" Team To Victory

ImageScotland A 26, Canada 10

The bulk of the Scotland A team pack were Glasgow Warriors in Saturday's Barclays Churchill Cup win over Canada.

The team, captained by Fergus Thomson, also gave some Warriors players the opportunity to play alongside new summer signing, scrum-half Mark McMillan, before he arrives in Glasgow ahead of the 2008/09 season.

The lack of available preparation time was evident throughout the first half, but Scotland eventually showed their superiority despite the baking heat which saw players shed weight through sheer perspiration - the most notable from Glasgow flanker James Eddie who lost over 4kg during the bruising encounter.

Canadian fullback James Pritchard was first to find the score-sheet with a penalty after seven minutes, before trying to go one further with a drop goal attempt which went wide.
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The first of Jones" trio of tries came in the 32nd minute when the ball was worked from left to right inside the Canadian 22. Edinburgh centre Calum MacRae threaded a neat inside ball to Roland Reid who hit the line at pace. Unable to reach the whitewash, Scotland kept the momentum going and spun the ball wide to Jones who had the power to find the line.
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The remainder of the first period saw Canadian stand-off Ander Monro miss a penalty before Rob Dewey made an attempt to stretch Scotland's lead before the break.
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Canada cleared their line with a high ball which was collected by winger Mark Robertson. Backing himself instead of using options out wide, Robertson initiated the attack and was lucky to get out of trouble by breaking through four tackles. Robertson's pass to Dewey saw him burst through more defensive efforts to cross the line but he was unable to ground the ball for Canadian interference.
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Straight from the dressing room, Scotland began to settle and Jones found the try-line for the second time.
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A high kick return from Canada was collected and the ball spun wide to Reid who held off a defender before unleashing captain Fergus Thomson.
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The Glasgow Warrior burst up the left flank, beating two Canadian backs, before putting Jones away. Gordon Ross converted.
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Head coach Rob Moffat then rung the changes as the heat took its toll and it was soon time for Jones to complete his hat-trick.
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James Eddie made a powerful break and offloaded. Canada intercepted momentarily before some hard work from Stuart Corsar regained possession and re-established momentum. The ball went left and MacRae sent Jones in to take the plaudits.
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Despite giving Jones the limelight, MacRae got a try of his own moments later as he touched down in the last minute of regulation time, holding off two tackles to thunder over from 20 yards out.
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A last gasp injury-time try from Canadian winger Justin Mensah-Coker delighted the home support but the game was never out of Scotland's control.
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Scotland "A" team captain, Fergus Thomson, said after the game: 'the start didn't come as a surprise to us because of our short preparation time, but we managed to stick together.
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'there's a short turnaround before our next game against Argentina on Wednesday. This next game is vital if we are to achieve our goal of getting to the final so recovery is crucial."
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Scotland A: Steve Jones (Newcastle Falcons); Mark Robertson (Edinburgh), Rob Dewey (Ulster), Calum MacRae (Edinburgh), Roland Reid (Edinburgh); Gordon Ross (Saracens), Mark McMillan (Wasps); Ed Kalman (Glasgow Warriors), Fergus Thomson (Glasgow Warriors) CAPTAIN, David Young (Leicester Tigers), Fergus Pringle (Edinburgh), Dan Turner (Glasgow Warriors), James Eddie (Glasgow Warriors), Alan MacDonald (Edinburgh), Stevie Swindall (Glasgow Warriors)
Substitutes (all used): Andrew Kelly (Edinburgh), Stuart Corsar (Rotherham Titans), Tommy McGee (Leeds Carnegie), Scott Newlands (Edinburgh), Andy Miller (Exeter Chiefs), Colin Gregor (Glasgow Warriors), David Blair (Edinburgh)
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Canada: James Pritchard (Bedford); Dean Van Camp (Aurora Barbarians), Mike Pyke (Montauban), David Spicer (Auch), Justin Mensah-Coker (Albi); Ander Monro (Colorno), Ed Fairhurst (Cornish Pirates) CAPTAIN; Kevin Tkachuk (Glasgow Warriors), Pat Riordan (University of Victoria), Scott Franklin (Cornish Pirates), Stu Ault (Barrhaven Scottish), Oliver Atkinson (Moseley), Adam Kleeberger (University of Victoria), Andrew Wilson (Oakville Crusaders/Doncaster), Aaron Carpenter (Brantford Harlequins)
Substitutes: Mike Pletch (Oakville Crusaders), Doug Wooldridge (Lindsay RFC), Ben Johnson (Kamloops), Luke Cudmore (London Irish Academy), Nanyak Dala (Saskatoon Wild Oats), Pat Fleck (Meralomas), Ryan Smith (Montauban)
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Referee: Rob Debney (RFU)