Rugby Union: Chalmers' last-gasp kick lifts Scotland

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Border 28 Scotland 31

IN A performance marred by handling errors, Scotland scrambled to a 31-28 victory over Border deep into injury time yesterday. But it was an an unsatisfactory and scrappy opening to their South African tour.

Border may be near the bottom of the Currie Cup table, South Africa's domestic competition, but they proved well able to cope with the tourists, scoring four tries to three.

The Scots had even been given the chance to assess their opponents last Friday night when they watched them lose 16-17 to high-flying Free State in the Currie Cup match at the Basil Kenyon Stadium in East London.

Scotland, however, had outside-half Craig Chalmers to thank for making the difference, with six successful kicks out of seven.

The score was locked at 28-28 three minutes into injury time when Chalmers made sure of victory for Scotland by kicking a decisive fourth penalty.

Scotland built on a try by their scrum-half and captain, Gary Armstrong, in the third minute to dominate the opening period, particularly in the scrum. Craig Moir and Cameron Mather added touchdowns. But the Scots failed to exploit their glut of possession and Border edged back into the match in the second half. Left wing Kaya Molatana spearheaded their challenge with two tries, an effort matched by Paul de Jongh.

Scotland's next match is against Northern Free State on Friday

Border: Tries de Jongh 2, Molatana 2; Conversion Miller; Penalties de Jongh, Miller. Scotland: Tries Armstrong, Moir, Mather; Conversions Chalmers 2; Penalties Chalmers 4.

SCOTLAND: G Metcalfe (Glasgow Caledonians); C Murray, J Mayer (both Edinburgh Reivers), R Shepherd (Glasgow Caledonians), C Moir (Northampton); C Chalmers (Glasgow Caledonians), G Armstrong (Newcastle, capt); G Graham (Newcastle), G Bulloch (Glasgow Caledonians), M Proudfoot (Edinburgh Reivers), D Weir (Newcastle), A Lucking (Edinburgh Reivers), C Mather (Edinburgh Reivers), R Hunter (London Scottish), M Leslie (Edinburgh Reivers).

Replacements: J McLaren (Bourgoin), D Hodge (Edinburgh Reivers), B Redpath (Narbonne), B Pountney (Northampton), I Fullarton (Edinburgh Reivers), T Smith (Glasgow Caledonians), S Brotherstone (Edinburgh Reivers).