Hastings the battler

Scotland 45 Barbarians 48
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The Independent Online
A Try by the Irish lock Paddy Johns - the 15th of the match - a minute from full-time ensured the Barbarians preserved their unbeaten record north of the border in the finale to the match at Murrayfield yesterday honouring the memory of the 16 children and their teacher massacred at Dunblane.

A crowd of 32,002, including many of the victims' families, turned up for a poignant occasion described by the SRU president, Fred McLeod, as an opportunity to show how much rugby cared about the awful events in Dunblane.

The players put on a rousing exhibition, but, proving there can be no such thing as a pure friendly, there were various flashpoints with Scotland's fiery prop-forward Peter Wright in the thick of things and appearing to conduct a running feud with Leicester's Darren Garforth throughout. The brothers Gavin and Scott Hastings, playing against each other for the first time in their careers, also managed a tussle, with the latter appearing to do his utmost to lift the Barbarian captain off his feet.

The competitive edge was apparent from the start when Scotland were penalised six times in the first three minutes, culminating in Arran Pene crashing over in the corner. Scotland hit back through Damian Cronin, and then Scott Hastings had the first of two tries. Despite the free scoring, the margin between the sides never grew wider than nine points. The Argentinian scrum-half Agustin Pichot lived up to star billing including a second- half try for the Baa-baas but there were no louder cheers than when Gavin Hastings went over for two touchdowns. Other Barbarian tries came from Tony Underwood, Rod McCall and Iain Morrison.

Scotland's coaches, for all that they had insisted the fixture was being treated as a Test, will find it hard to be too upset at the result and could take consolation from some stirring individual displays. Rowen Shepherd carried on where he left off on tour in New Zealand this summer by landing five conversions out of seven, while Gregor Townsend crossed after a vintage break. Derek Stark showed finishing power out wide in helping himself to a pair of tries and Gary Armstrong highlighted a typically combative display with a touchdown of his own.

SCOTLAND XV: R Shepherd (Melrose); D Stark (Melrose), S Hastings (Watsonians), R Eriksson (London Scottish), K Logan (Stirling County); G Townsend (Northampton, captain), G Armstrong (Newcastle); D Hilton (Bath), G Ellis (Currie), P Wright (Boroughmuir), D Cronin (Wasps), G Weir (Newcastle), B Renwick (Hawick), E Peters (Bath), I Smith (Gloucester).

BARBARIANS: G Hastings (Watsonians and Scotland, captain); A Bose (Mana and Fiji), Y Motoki (Kobe Steel and Japan), A McCormick (Toshiba and Japan), T Underwood (Newcastle and England); P Howard (Queensland and Australia), A Pichot (San Isidro and Argentina); G Rowntree (Leicester and England), R Cockerill (Leicester), D Garforth (Leicester), P Johns (Saracens and Ireland), R McCall (Queensland and Australia), M Gasuna (Mana and Fiji), A Pene (Kaneka and New Zealand), I Morrison (London Scottish and Scotland).

Referee: G Black (Ireland).

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