Rugby Union: Samoans outclass Scotland

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The Independent Online
Western Samoa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

Scotland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

HAVING already beaten Queensland and Otago here, Western Samoa put Scotland to the sword on Saturday with a substantial win over the tourists in the final match of the tour. Considering the rise of Western Samoa in world terms, however, it was not a discouraging defeat for the Scotland development side - rather a painful learning experience.

Scotland's previous six games had all produced victories for the tourists but had not prepared them adequately for a much higher standard of opposition. In truth, Scotland would have needed the full national side to overcome the Samoans; the second XV were simply not good enough.

Scotland were outclassed in the line-out despite what seemed an obvious height advantage, and in the second half lost the touchline battle by a woeful margin.

'As a result we never gained control of the game,' David Johnston, the Scotland coach, said. 'We did not vary our options in the line-out. Overall, we were too passive.'

Scotland's defence, which had been little tested in the six previous games, was put under severe strain by the strong running Samoans honed on sevens rugby. Ian Jardine, at centre, tackled soundly but there were some dreadful defensive lapses elsewhere.

After tries by the outside-centre, Vaega, and the No 8, Kaleopa, Scotland responded with a pushover try, credited to Andy Nicol, and a penalty goal by the young stand-off, Gregor Townsend. Kellet, who had converted the first Samoan try, dominated proceedings in the third quarter with three successive penalties, and although Townsend put over a successful kick for Scotland, the Samoans continued to pound the Scotland line, finally breaking through with a try by the left-wing, Lima, the final score of the match.

Western Samoa: Tries Kaleopa, Lima, Vaega; Conversions Kellet 2; Penalties Kellet 3. Scotland: Try Nicol; Penalties Townsend 2.

WESTERN SAMOA: A Aiolupo; L Koko, T Vaega, A Ieremia, B Lima; D Kellet, J Tonuu; P Fatialofa (capt), T Leiasamaivao, A Leuu, P Leanasa, L Falanko, S Vaifale, D Kaleopa, M Iupeli.

SCOTLAND: N Grecian (London Scottish); M Moncrieff (Gala), S Nichol (Selkirk), I Jardine (Stirling County), K Logan (Stirling County); G Townsend (Gala), A Nicol (Dundee High School FP, capt); G Isaac (Gala), J Hay (Hawick), S Ferguson (Peebles), S Munro (Glasgow High-Kelvinside), R Scott (London Scottish), D McIvor (Edinburgh Academicals), G Weir (Melrose), I Smith (Gloucester).

Referee: L McLachlan (New Zealand).

Jean-Pierre Tordo, the French captain, will miss the rest of his country's tour of South Africa after suffering a bad facial injury 11 minutes into his opening match, Saturday's 12-6 victory over Western Province in Cape Town. Garry Hagel, the Western Province prop, has been blamed for the incident in which studs left a wound on Tordo's cheek that needed 50 stitches. 'I can take most punishment, but not in the face,' Tordo said. Laurent Verge, the 27-year-old Begles prop, has joined the tourists.