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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.