Scotland 48 Romania 6: Beattie plays the generation game in a Scottish stroll

Click to follow
The Independent Online

In one respect at least, it was a momentous occasion here yesterday. When Jim Hamilton took to the field in the 55th minute of Scotland's opening autumn international, the towering Leicester lock - a one-time England Under-21 - became the 1,000th player to be capped by the land of his Glaswegian father, who served for 24 years in the Queen's Own Highlanders.

When it came to the scoreboard, though, Hamilton and his new team-mates could not quite rise to record heights. Frank Hadden challenged his players to hit the 60-points mark, but they fell two short of a half-century and five shy of their highest ever tally in a full cap international here.

Still, they did manage to notch a fourth successive win of the year on home ground - a feat they last achieved in 1995 - and there were enough plus points from a semi-experimental side to keep the momentum of Scotland's Six Nations makeover last season. With next year's World Cup in mind, Hadden could reflect with some satisfaction on a strengthening and deepening of the talent at his disposal.

Johnnie Beattie and Rob Dewey, two of four debutants, made try-scoring marks, while Phil Godman, one of two other players getting a first start, kicked 13 points. Beattie had a fine game, watched in the BBC commentary box by his proud father, John, though the star of the show was undoubtedly Hugo Southwell. Just when his place at full-back was being called into question, he returned to his swashbuckling best, plundering a brace of tries.

But victory was achieved at a cost. Jason White was wheeled away on a stretcher just before the interval with a damaged knee. "Jason will be getting a scan on Monday morning," Hadden said. "It's very sore. He's keeping his fingers crossed but the signs aren't great." At least the Scotland captain did not depart without making his muscular presence felt, some trademark demolition work having cleared the path for the first try. He smashed through three would-be tacklers and slipped the ball to Beattie, who produced a neat side-step for a 17-stone No 8 before diving over. It took Beattie's father seven years to score his first try in a full-cap international. Beattie Jnr took 13 minutes 55 seconds.

The 20-year-old Glasgow Warrior might have scored a second in the 36th minute but he did not quite have the legs to reach the line after a counterattack from deep by Mike Blair. Thanks to the smartest of flicked passes from Blair, though, the ball was quickly recycled for Southwell to dive over in the right corner.

It was Southwell's second try, the former Sussex cricketer having scored with a superb solo effort from just inside the halfway line in the 21st minute. That was all Scotland could manage before the interval, though seven minutes into the second half the debutant Dewey, a 17-stone centre known as "the tank", flattened two defenders en route to finishing a move launched with a fine inside pass by Godman and a break through the middle by Simon Webster.

Godman landed a penalty and five of his seven conversion attempts. The Edinburgh outside-half also scored a try under the posts on the hour mark, courtesy of two equally slick inside passes by Blair and Beattie. Dougie Hall and Chris Cusiter added scores of their own in the final quarter to send the sparse crowd home contented.

Scotland: H Southwell; S Webster, M Di Rollo, R Dewey (all Edinburgh), S Lamont (Northampton); P Godman, M Blair (both Edinburgh); G Kerr (Borders), D Hall (Edinburgh), E Murray (Glasgow), N Hines (Perpignan), S Murray (Edinburgh), J White (Sale, capt), K Brown (Borders), J Beattie (Glasgow). Replacements: D Callam (Edinburgh) for White, 40; A Jacobsen (Edinburgh) for Kerr, 51; C Smith (Edinburgh) for E Murray, 55; J Hamilton (Leicester) for Hines, 55; C Cusiter (Borders) for Blair, 61; C Paterson (Edinburgh) for Southwell, 66; S Lawson (Glasgow) for Hall, 70.

Romania: F Vlaicu (Steaua Bucharest); G Brezoianu (Metro Racing), C Dascalu (Steaua), R Gontineac (Aurillac), I Teodorescu (Dinamo Bucharest); I Dimofte (Arad), V Calafeteanu (Dinamo); P Balan (Biarritz), M Tincu (Perpignan), B Balan (Montauban), S Socol (Agen, capt), C Petre (Brive), F Corodeanu (Grenoble), C Ratiu (Dinamo), O Tonita (Perpignan). Replacements: C Gal (U Clui) for Dascalu, 53; I Paulica (Steaua) for B Balan, 58; V Ursache (Steaua) for Corodeanu, 63-68 & 69; C Popescu (Agen) for P Balan, 64; I Tofan (Limoges) for Gontineac, 70; R Mavrodin (Pau) for Tincu, 72; A Lupu (Steaua) for Calafeteanu, 73.

Referee: M Goddard (Australia).

Comments