Scotland ease to victory over Fiji

Scotland 23 Fiji 10

The Andy Robinson era got off to a solid but unspectacular start as Scotland eased to victory in their opening autumn international against Fiji.

Tries from Johnnie Beattie - playing his first Test for more than two years - a dubious second from Graeme Morrison and 13 points from Phil Godman saw the hosts leapfrog their depleted opponents into ninth in the world rankings.

Fiji were in the game until Morrison's score courtesy of a Vereniki Goneva touchdown, with Nicky Little kicking their other points.

Robinson was returning to the Test stage three years after his disastrous reign as England boss came to an end.

It had been a long build up to this afternoon's match for the 45-year-old, who was appointed Frank Hadden's successor more than five months ago.

Robinson has been charged with reviving the ailing fortunes of Scotland, who found themselves 10th in the world going into the November Tests.

Victory today reaped immediate dividends on that front against opponents without several star names after failing to secure their release.

Overcast conditions and a shower shortly before kick-off appeared to signal a further blow to Fiji's hopes at a less than a third full Murrayfield.

Robinson was smiling and looked relaxed as he made his way to the coaching booth but he will have not been happy about the number of penalties his side were conceding in their opponents' half.

He would have been even more worried when the visitors got within five metres of the Scotland line in the 10th minute before knocking on.

The next attack brought the first points of the Robinson era, Godman's angled 40-metre penalty putting the hosts ahead in the 15th minute.

Edinburgh fly-half Godman was less successful from a more central position three minutes later, his effort hitting the inside of the post.

But it did not matter as Scotland scored the opening try 22 minutes in.

Chris Cusiter, in his first start as captain, took full advantage of a wayward line-out to burst clear and feed Beattie, who carried just enough momentum to slide over the line for his second Test try. Godman converted.

One of the two men trying to stop Beattie, Josefa Domolailai, was hurt in the process and was taken off on a stretcher to be replaced Samu Bola.

Cusiter was starting to create space and Scotland almost had another try when Rory Lamont broke through only to be held up on the line.

But Fiji were now beginning to infringe in shooting range and Godman made them pay with his second successful penalty just before the half-hour.

Simon Danielli was proving a useful line-break option coming off his wing and another burst led to a penalty, this time kicked by Godman from more than 40 metres.

Just a minute before half-time, Fiji hit back from a rare attack, Goneva touching down in the corner after a quick tap and pass. Little converted.

The tourists, who were playing a more regimented game than their repuation suggested, made a second substitution during the interval, removing loosehead Alefoso Yalayalatabua for Graham Dewes.

Bath fly-half Little blew a great chance to cut the deficit to six points with a poor penalty after Scotland failed to roll away from a ruck.

The home side regained control and Cusiter's decision to go for a scrum when awarded a close-range penalty paid off.

The ball was quickly worked to Morrison via what appeared a forward Sean Lamont pass and the centre scored his third Test try. Godman converted from under the posts.

The fly-half was then lucky to get away with dwelling on the ball when Wame Lewaravu tackled him only to knock the ball on before bursting into space.

Little kicked a 40-metre penalty after Alasdair Strokosch was penalised for a high tackle, Robinson responding with a triple substitution.

Kyle Traynor won his first cap in place of Allan Jacobsen, Chris Paterson came on for Rory Lamont, and Cusiter was replaced by co-captain Mike Blair. Strokosch soon followed for Jason White.

The game was becoming very scrappy and both sides replaced their hookers for the final 11 minutes.

Paterson horribly shanked a penalty between two more Fiji replacements.

With three minutes remaining, Blair hurt himself making a tackle on Napolioni Nalaga and had to be helped from the field.

Fiji pressed in the closing moments but Scotland's defence held firm.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent