Hastings on a high

Scotland 49 Romania 16

AS AN exercise in boosting morale before their departure for South Africa, this was belatedly what Scotland wanted although for a long time it was much less than they had expected. As an occasion for the Murrayfield crowd to bid a fond farewell to their beloved Gavin Hastings, it was, however, an unqualified success, the great man scoring a try after two minutes and finishing with 19 points. It was certainly no fault of his that Scotland took so long to translate their superiority in all areas of the field into an acceptable margin on the scoreboard.

It was a curiosly episodic match in which the Scots werefrustrated in their attempts to maintain the momentum and impetus of their early attacks and, having scored 12 points in the opening quarter of an hour, were forced to tread water until 10 minutes before half-time when Graham Shiel, with that rarest of manoeuvres in the cluttered midfields of the modern game, the outside break, darted through for Scotland's third try.

The Romanian scrummage was not a pretty sight, although it held firm for much of the game. In the line-out both sides profited from the referee's apparent inability to differentiate between a straight and crooked throw but the taller Romanians were unable to take advantage of their superior height, very often swatting back unappetising possession for the beleaguered Daniel Neaga. Even so, when the Romanians did attempt to open out they looked the part but too often took the complicated route when the simple would have been more effective, a classic example being when Nicolae Racean raced through Tony Stanger's ill-judged lunge for the simplest of tries two minutes into the second half.

It not only exposed the Scotsman's limitations in his newly chosen position but it put Scotland in the embarrassing position of having the Romanians uncomfortably close in their rear-view mirror. Their lead was further reduced to a mere three points two minutes later when Neculai Nichitean, who succeeded with two penalties in the first half and the conversion of Racean's try, kicked his third penalty. The Scots at this stage were completely out of the game and ominously off the pace.

It wasn't until Hastings kicked his third penalty and Eric Peters, running along the same touchline down which he had thundered so memorably to score against Wales, crossed for Scotland's fourth try, that they could begin to breathe more easily. Peters' try had been made by the alertness of Bryan Redpath who had lain in wait around the side of the scrummage and had ambushed the unsuspecting Neaga. So surprised was the Romanian scrum- half that he dropped the ball, allowing Peters an almost free passage to the line. By now the Romanians were a dishevelled crew while the Scots had moved from peril to command. The Romanian midfield defence, which had held firm, finally cracked allowing Iain Morrison to put Craig Joiner over and, after a mixed match in which he had had the satisfaction of scoring an early try but in which he had also made several serious mistakes, Stanger finally reached paradise, tearing half the length of the field to score following Shiel's mesmerising dummy and scorching break.

Kenny Logan finished off what had become a rout with a powerful run to the corner for Scotland's seventh try, ensuring the game would be remembered for something more than Gavin Hastings' final bow at Murrayfield. And when the Scottish captain left the field with a dead leg three minutes from the end to be replaced by his brother Scott the crowd, with whom he has forged such a bond of affection and loyalty and which had been swollen appreciably by the pre-match announcement of his impending retirement, rose to applaud him. It will be some time before Scotland see his like again.

Scotland: G Hastings (Watsonians, capt); C Joiner (Melrose), T Stanger (Hawick), G Shiel (Melrose), K Logan (Stirling Co); C Chalmers (Melrose), B Redpath (Melrose); D Hilton (Bath), K McKenzie (Stirling Co), P Wright (Boroughmuir), G Weir (Melrose), S Campbell (Dundee High School FP), R Wainwright (West Hartlepool), I Morrison (London Scottish), E Peters (Bath).

Romania: V Brici (Farul Constanta); R Cioca (Dinamo Bucharest), N Racean (Cluj University), R Gontineac (Cluj Univ), G Solomie (Timisoara Univ); N Nichitean (Cluj Univ), D Neaga (Dinamo Bucharest); G Leonte (Vienne), V Tufa (Dinamo Bucharest), L Costea (Steaua Bucharest), S Ciroascu (Auch), C Cojocariu (Bayonne), T Oroian (Steaua Bucharest), A Gealapu (Steaua Bucharest), T Brinza (Cluj Univ, capt).

Referee: N Lasaga (France).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there