Rugby Union: Nikolaev makes his presence felt

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Boroughmuir. .22

Krasnoyarsk. .26

Against a background of international rugby diplomacy the CIS champions, Krasnoyarsk of Siberia, scored a last-minute try to defeat the former Scottish title holders, Boroughmuir, last night.

To the consternation of the Scottish Rugby Union the Siberians fielded stand-off Turi Nikolaev just 48 hours after he had been sent off for punching in the opening match of the tour. Earlier in the day the SRU had faxed Moscow for further instructions before dealing with the disciplinary matter but no reply was received by the time Murrayfield's administrators downed pens.

Therefore it came as some surprise to the SRU representative, Charlie Bisset, when he visited the Siberians' dressing-room just before kick-off to find Nikolaev in playing kit.

Krasnoyarsk, their trip paid for by a philanthropic Fife family with business connections in Siberia, came with plenty of vodka, caviare and T-shirts to generate spending money but limited awareness of rugby's recent law amendments.

Their naivety was to prove no handicap, a crash course over the preceding two days obviously having some effect. With the game in its infancy, Nikolaev landed a touchline conversion of a try by right-winger Alexander Khomiakov after Sergei Patlasov had split the defence.

Murray Walker cut the deficit with a simple penalty but the Siberians responded with a try as eye-catching as their fluorescent green jerseys. Nikolaev, at the heart of the move, allowed Khomiakov to set up the ruck from which Alexander Gamoskin charged over; Nicolaev converted.

From a fierce Boroughmuir surge Walker broke, then landed a conversion after Sean Lineen had cruised in for a try. But Boroughmuir were caught by a stunning try by Alexander Zakarliuk at the end of a breathtaking 80-metre dash. Again Nikolaev converted.

Trailing 21-10 at half-time, Lineen claimed his second try from behind a five-metre scrum and Walker's conversion brought the former Scottish champions back into contention.

Lineen underlined the qualities Scotland will miss during his international retirement when a superb reverse pass found Walker in space, allowing Steve Douglas to score an unconverted try which put Boroughmuir ahead for the first time in 76 minutes. With the final act prop forward Rashid Bikbov battled over for a close-range try.

Boroughmuir: Tries Lineen 2, Douglas; Conversions Walker 2. Penalties: Walker. Krasny-Yar: Tries Zakarliuk, Khomiakov, Gamoskin, Bikbov. Conversions Nikolaev 3.

Boroughmuir: S Douglas; D Stark, S Maclean, S Lineen, R Smith; M Walker, M Hall; G Wilson, B Brown, P Wright, G Hepburn, P Jennings, G Dryburgh, D Burns, G Drummon (capt).

Krasnoyarsk: A Zakarliuk; A Khomiakov, A Gamoskin, S Patlasov, I Kouperman; T Nikolaev, T Krasnobaev; R Bikbov, I Nikolaichuk, V Ashurka, N Kaiselev, S Kryksa, A Kozhukhov, V Nogodin, D Khramogin.

Referee: J Bacigalupo (Edinbugh Wanderers).