Eagles grounded as Craig swoops for Scotland

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Scotland Development XV produced a superb second-half performance to sweep aside a committed United States side at King's College yesterday. Just four points ahead at half-time, the Scots gave the tourists a lesson in running rugby in the grounds of the city's university after the break, leading the Development coach, Graham Hogg, to praise the performance. "It was a very useful exercise in terms of developing the young players. Several have not played at that level before and they did well," he said.

Scotland Development XV produced a superb second-half performance to sweep aside a committed United States side at King's College yesterday. Just four points ahead at half-time, the Scots gave the tourists a lesson in running rugby in the grounds of the city's university after the break, leading the Development coach, Graham Hogg, to praise the performance. "It was a very useful exercise in terms of developing the young players. Several have not played at that level before and they did well," he said.

"You have to give the youngsters credit for taking their chance. They need that sort of game to step up a level. We only trained together twice so weren't as well prepared as we could have been, which makes the performance even better."

Early second-half tries from the Edinburgh Reivers centre Kevin Utterson and the inspirational captain, Stewart Campbell, ended any hopes the Eagles had of pulling off an upset. With the United States tiring, the flanker Graham Dall and full-back Keith Davidson - both from the Edinburgh Reivers district - crossed late on to cap a commanding Scottish performance.

The Scots did not have it all their own way, though. The Eagles took a fifth-minute lead from a Link Wilfley penalty, awarded when the home side were caught offside. But Scotland replied immediately with a brace of tries in five minutes from the individual star of an impressive collective show James Craig, the Glasgow Caledonians winger.

For the first, Utterson sent Craig, with one full Scotland cap to his name, away down the right and he outpaced the defence to score under the posts. Then Caledonians' Roland Reid took a quick tap penalty and, from the subsequent ruck, Craig darted over. The Caley stand-off Mark McKenzie converted both to make it 14-3.

The Eagles hit back when, after good work from their flanker Alex Magelby, the hooker Robbie Flynn crossed over, but Reid, the Scotland No 8, then spun out of a tackle on the line and McKenzie added the conversion to make it 21-10. On the stroke of half-time, the United States No 8, John Burke, ended a flowing move to draw the Eagles to within four points at the interval.

However, with Campbell galvanising his pack into a powerful second-half performance, the Scots took command. That solid platform allowed the adventurous back-line to stretch the Eagles' defence, which resulted in four tries, all converted, and an emphatic victory.

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