Laing leads way

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The Independent Online
Scotland A 9

France A 13

Scott Hastings, dropped by Scotland on the verge of a record-equalling 52nd cap, underlined his determination to bounce back in an A team overhauled by more experienced opponents at Balgray yesterday.

Despite Hastings' efforts, however, a perennial lack of fluency in the Scottish midfield surfaced yet again and ample first- half possession was wasted.

David Johnston, the coach, felt Scotland A could have killed off the game when Stuart Laing kicked a third penalty to establish a 9-0 lead early in the second half. "Considering we had to virtually rebuild the team we played well but could have done slightly better," he said.

Full-back Rowen Shepherd added to the pressure on Gavin Hastings with an accomplished display, while Stuart Reid was the pick of the Scots forwards.

Scotland A: Penalties Laing 3. France A: Try Hallinger; Conversion Bellot; Penalties Bellot 2.

Scotland A: R Shepherd (Edinburgh Acads); H Gilmour (Heriots FP), S Hastings (Watsonians), R Ericksson (London Scottish), M Appleson (Sale); S Laing (Instonians), G Burns (Stewart's/Melville FP); J Manson (Dundee High), J Hay (Hawick), D Herrington (Dundee High), J Richardson (Edinburgh Acads, capt), R Scott (London Scottish), F Wallace (Glasgow High/Kelvinside), S Reid (Boroughmuir), I Smith (Gloucester).

France A: B Campan (Agen); D Venditti (Bourgoin), P Carbonneau, T Castaignede (both Toulouse), P Bernat-Salles (Pau); B Bellot (Graulhet), A Huber (Toulon, capt), E Menieu (Mont Ferrand), F Landreau (Grenoble), P Gallart (Beziers), O Brouzet (Grenoble), A Berthozat (Begles), A Costes (Mont Ferrand), N Hallinger (Colomiers), S Dispangne (Narbonne).

Referee: G Gadjovich (Canada).