Little to delight in Scottish win

Southland 21 Scotland 31
Click to follow
The Independent Online
Scotland's New Zealand tour staggered back on course yesterday with a win over Southland at Invercargill, but they were far from convincing. Looking jaded after a tough schedule of matches and an equally strenuous training programme, they delivered a flat performance.

Rob Wainwright, the captain, recognised the lack of pep in the Scots' display by saying: "There did not seem to be any buzz in the team. Eventually our fitness told, though, and we got control of the game. I was very impressed with our scrummaging and pleased with the way the boys responded in the second half."

Scotland's style contributed little to a poor game that lacked the flow of their match against Waikato. But much of this was self-inflicted, stand- off Craig Chalmers all too frequently reverting to the up and under. However, when Chalmers did release the ball, centres Ron Eriksson and Scott Hastings made little headway against a rock-solid Southland defence.

On the wing, Ken Logan looked hungry and ready for a Test recall, but on the other flank Craig Joiner had an unhappy day, the Melrose player, who will move to Leicester next season, limping off at half-time with a dead leg.

On the positive side, however, the Scots' forwards performed well at the line-out and looked powerful in the scrums.

But the back-row blend is still not right and they will be hoping that Ian Smith recovers from his rib injury in time for the first Test next Saturday.

Southland: Tries Byars, Wilson, penalty try; Conversions Culhane 3. Scotland Tries Logan, McKenzie, Wainwright. Conversions Shepherd 2; Penalties Shepherd 4.

Southland: Crossan; Byars, Heke, Seymour, Dynes; Culhane (capt), McCormack; Henderson, Winders, Harvey; Wilson, Newell; Hayes, Heaps,Borland.

Scotland: Shepherd; Joiner, Hastings, Jardine, Logan; Townsend, Armstrong; Renwick, Broughton, Wainwright (capt); Weir, Campbell; Stewart, McKenzie, Hilton.