Walker celebrates homecoming at Canada's expense

Scotland 41 Canada 0
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The Independent Online

So, then, no repeat of the upset that materialised the last time these countries met, at the Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver six years ago. Canada would have needed Scott Tracy, Brains and the rest of International Rescue to overcome the avalanche of points that piled up against them in Arctic conditions in Aberdeen.

Ultimately, the most difficult task for the Scotland camp was clearing the snow off the pitch before kick-off, with the head coach, Frank Hadden, his backroom team and the non-playingsquad members all doing their bit. It took Nikki Walker three minutes to score the opening try, the first of two by the big Ospreys wing, a native of the Granite City and frequenter of Pittodrie as a lifelong Aberdeen football fan. In all there were six tries and 41 points for the Scots, all of them unanswered.

With Ireland clawing their way past Argentina in Dublin, it was not quite enough to put Scotland into the top eight of the world rankings and the pot of second seeds for next month's World Cup draw. Still, Hadden was happy enough afterwards. "We might have made heavy weather of it in those conditions, but I thought it was a very efficient performance," he said.

The opening play could hardly have been more efficient, with Simon Taylor making five battering drives through the middle before Walker dived over in the left corner. There was a temporary points failure thereafter, with Rory Lamont and Simon Webster both having the skids put under them as they went for the line and Nigel Whitehouse, the television match official, ruling that John Barclay had veered marginally into touch when planting the ball in the right corner.

A Phil Godman penalty got the scoreboard ticking over again, though, and two minutes before the interval Scotland had their second try. It came from a line-out steal, Nathan Hines releasing the ball into the backs and Nick de Luca making the decisive break before feeding Ben Cairns, who skated over for his first international try.

Two minutes after the interval Barclay claimed his first try for Scotland, pouncing from quick ruck ball in the right corner. And that was just about that. The Scots were 22-0 up by that stage, and there were three more tries to follow. There was a first Scotland score for Alasdair Strokosch and a second of the day for Walker, who might have had a hat-trick to savour had Rory Lamont looked outside rather than made a bee-line for the whitewash – all this as the snow returned and the Canucks crumbled.

Scotland: R Lamont (Sale); S Webster (Edinburgh), B Cairns (Edinburgh), N De Luca (Edinburgh), N Walker (Ospreys); P Godman (Edinburgh), M Blair (Edinburgh, capt); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), E Murray (Northampton), N Hines (Perpignan), J Hamilton (Edinburgh), A Strokosch (Gloucester), J Barclay (Glasgow), S Taylor (Stade Français). Replacements: A Dickinson (Gloucester) for Jacobsen, 51; S Gray (Northampton) for Barclay, 51; R Lawson(Gloucester) for Blair, 59; D Parks (Glasgow) for Godman, 59; D Hall (Glasgow) for Ford, 64; M Evans (Glasgow) for Webster, 64.

Canada: J Pritchard (Bedford); S Duke (Universityof Victoria), C Hearn (Castaway Wanderers), R Smith (Calgary Irish), J Mensah-Coker (Plymouth Albion); M Evans (Hartpury College), E Fairhurst (Cornish Pirates, capt); K Tkachuk (Glasgow), M Pletch (Velox Valhallians), S Franklin (Cornish Pirates), T Hotson (Northern Suburbs), J Jackson (Bordeaux-Bègles), J Sinclair (Castaway Wanderers),A Kleeberger (University of Victoria), A Carpenter(Brantford Harlequins). Replacements: N Hirayama (University of Victoria) for Evans, 47;J Marshall (Capilano) for Keelberger, 74; M Williams (James Bay) for Fairhurst, 74; B Keys (Velox Valhallians) for Hearne, 76.

Referee: G Clancy (Ireland).

Scotland: Tries: Walker 2, Cairns, Barclay, Strokosch, Lamont

Cons: Godman 3, Parks

Pen: Godman

Att: 17,651