Scotland V Georgia

Scotland finished their Summer Tests with a flourish to send the players off to the Rugby World Cup in Japan with the crowd’s applause ringing loud around BT Murrayfield.

Winning in Test rugby is, after all, the currency that matters. Scotland posted their 300thwin since they started playing international rugby a couple of miles away at Raeburn Place 140 years ago.

They also surpassed their five tries from last weekend’s win in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and, one for defence coach Matt Taylor here, kept the opposition try-less at BT Murrayfield for the first time since Italy were the visitors in 2017.

The gloss on a hard-fought Test match scoreline came in a 19 point blitz in seven minutes inside the final quarter.

Scotland did see Blair Kinghorn, Jonny Gray and Ben Toolis depart with injuries and Blade Thomson, too, late in the match so the medical bulletins on all will be awaited before the squad departs to Japan on Monday.

With that Rugby World Cup squad named earlier in the week, some supporters might already have been thinking about Japan.

But for the 23 players and Scotland management their immediate priority was to win a Test match against tough and durable opponents.

Blade Thomson’s catch from Georgia’s kick-off saw Duncan Taylor stay big, Thomson carry again and Ali Price chip kick into the visitors’ 22, before referee Romain Poite brought play back for a Georgian penalty.

Mr Poite awarded another penalty to Georgia after Blair Kinghorn had shaped promisingly in attack and then Jonny Gray had to make a saving tackle on Beka Gigashvili as Georgia swept forward off lineout ball.

Kinghorn continued his lively start with a lovely quick ruck ball, he was released by Sam Johnson and his offload was gathered by Tommy Seymour but just as it looked as if he was preparing the scoring dive he guddled the ball forward.

Gray took against the throw at a lineout and some footballing skills from Scott Cummings had alarm bells ringing for Georgia until Soso Matiashvili counter-attacked audaciously.

From the clearance kick, however, Kinghorn thundered forward, released Darcy Graham, Sam Johnson supported and gave the well-timed scoring pass to Ali Price. It was the scrum-half’s fourth try for Scotland. Adam Hastings missed the conversion (5-0, 16 mins).

Georgia posted their first points through a Tedo Abzhandadze penalty (5-3, 19 mins) but three minutes later, with Jamie Ritchie and Scott Cummings instrumental in the build-up, Hastings launched a diagonal run, Graham caught and kept ball alive in the tackle to uncork Kinghorn for the try. Hastings could not convert from the touchline (10-3, 23 mins).

Abzhandadze was on target again with his second penalty (10-6, 25 mins) as Blair Kinghorn left the field having taken a head knock and the young stand-off made it three from three four minutes later (10-9).

The game could have done with some continuity at this stage but reset scrums ended with referee Poite losing patience and yellow-carding both Zander Fagerson and the Georgian loose-head.

The half ended with errors, forced and unforced.

Half-time: Scotland 10 Georgia 9.

The sin-bin period ended shortly after the resumption and Magnus Bradbury’s introduction saw the back-row forward making a customary belligerent carry into the Georgian 22. Scotland kept possession and hammered away at the Georgian line before Hastings offload to Johnson saw the centre score his third try for Scotland. Hastings converted (17-9, 49 mins).

Georgian right-wing Zurab Dzneladze was yellow-carded for taking out Graham off the ball in the lead-up to the try but, back at the scrum, referee Poite continued to ping Scotland, though on this occasion, Abzhanadadze miscued from the right.

Scotland earned their fourth try of the night after some patient battering-ram from the pack saw Duncan Taylor and Chris Harris link on the left for the latter to release the flying Graham for the latter’s fifth try for his country. Hastings could not convert (22-9, 69 mins).

The Georgians seemed to be wilting, and it was time for Scotland to put foot to the floor. From a Hastings break inside the visitors’ 22, George Horne, ever alert, gathered and accelerated home gloriously for his first try at BT Murrayfield and his third in total. For good measure he added the conversion (29-9, 71 mins).

But if younger brother was the flavour of the moment, older brother was not going to be outdone. Scotland were still working hard, underlined by Graham, a worthy man of the match, tracking back in defence to make a tackle, but it was Pete Horne whose work ethic crowned matters.

He caught an attempted inventive Georgian clearance into space, leapt back to his feet and then had the awareness to romp over the try line for Scotland’s sixth try. Hastings converted (36-9, 76 mins).

Full-time: Scotland 36 Georgia 9.

Scotland: Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby); Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby); Adam Hastings, Ali Price (both Glasgow Warriors); Gordon Reid (Ayrshire Bulls), George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Ryan Wilson CAPTAIN (all Glasgow Warriors), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby), Blade Thomson (Scarlets).

Subs: Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors) for Toolis (65 mins), Allan Dell (London Irish) for Reid (54 mins), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh Rugby) for Thomson (33-42 mins) and for Fagerson (58 mins), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby) for Gray (40 mins), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby) for Ritchie (45 mins), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) for Price (51 mins), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors) for Johnson (64 mins), Chris Harris (Gloucester) for Kinghorn (26 mins).

Georgia: Soso Matiashvili; Zurab Dzneladze, Davit Katcharava, Lasha Malaghuradze, Mirian Modebadze; Tedo Abzhandadze, Vasil Lobzhanidze; Mikheil Nariashvili CAPTAIN, Shalva Mamukashvili, Beka Gigashvili, Kote Mikautadze, Giorgi Nemsadze, Shalva Sutiashvili, Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, Beka Gorgadze.

Subs: Vano Karkadze for Mamukashvili (74 mins), Guram Gogichashvili for Sutiashvili (33-42 mins) Giorgi Melikidze for Beka Gigashvili (64 mins), Lasha Lomidze for Nariashvili (64 mins), Beka Saghinadze for Sutiashvili (64 mins), Gela Aprasidze for Lobzhanidze (69 mins), Tamaz Mtchedlidze for Malaghuradze (65 mins), Giorgi Kveseladze for Katcharava (52 mins).

Referee: Romain Poite (France). Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland) and Karl Dickson (England). TMO: Rowan Kitt (England).

Man of the Match: Darcy Graham (Scotland)

Crowd: 53,406

live commentary 7:30 PM Friday 6 Sep 2019

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Kick-off 7:30 PM



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