Rugby Union: One-sided success for Scotland's hopefuls

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IT TOOK Scotland 15 minutes to achieve their main aim yesterday and considerably less to beat the Netherlands.

While the match was billed as an important warm-up for the A-team version of the Six Nations, which starts in February, it also fell conveniently before the 1 January deadline for internationals to represent more than one country.

Thus former Zimbabwe prop Paul Johnstone started the game and a quarter of an hour into the match Alistair Murdoch, twice capped for Australia, came on as a substitute.

Not that either man's contribution could be measured in this one-sided mis-match.

It took the home side less than two minutes to cross the opposition line as Derrick Lee completed a fine backs move.

Lee, however, limped off after 15 minutes and was replaced by Murdoch as Chris Paterson converted a third try.

Scotland had scored 50 by half-time and the rout continued afterwards as they cruised past their previous record total of 61, posted against Italy this year. Among the 15 tries was a debut hat-trick for Colin Sharman.

The Dutch appear to have regressed since conceding 100 points against England last year, although the team may have been weakened owing to the importance of the game.

As a contest it was a non-event but at least Scotland now have two extra players to choose from. If they had temporarily loaned them to the Netherlands, it may have been more of a match.

Scotland A: Tries Murdoch 2, Lee, White, Paterson, Scott, Shiel 2, Sharman 3, Fairley 2, Bulloch 2. Conversions Lee 2, Paterson 10.