Utterson guides Scotland to safety

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The Independent Online

Scotland A wore down a tough Samoa side in front of a crowd of just 4,500 here last night, but it was not all one-way traffic as the visitors made the their hosts work hard for the win.

Scotland A wore down a tough Samoa side in front of a crowd of just 4,500 here last night, but it was not all one-way traffic as the visitors made the their hosts work hard for the win.

The Samoa stand-off Campbell Burnes kicked a penalty in the third minute, in reply to one from Mark McKenzie, and then hit a well-struck drop-goal to push Samoa into an early 6-3 lead. McKenzie then converted a penalty try after a superb run after the winger Craig Joiner was impeded. He was then on the rampage again soon after to score from James Craig's clever infield pass.

Scotland's lack of pace was exposed by Samoa's winger Seutiaimalie Faasua who touched down, and Aleki Toleafoa then kicked a penalty to put the visitors 16-15 ahead. McKenzie responded with his second penalty before Setefano Tone crashed over, but Craig scored a glorious try after some slick play from the threequarters as Scotland led 25-21 at the break.

Kevin Utterson took the contest away from Samoa with a brace of tries, the second after he had forced the ball down before being dragged into touch. The home side were unable to add to the scoring and, in the closing minutes, Sanft kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit.

SCOTLAND A: R Shepherd (Glasgow Caledonians); J Craig (Glasgow Caledonians), G Shiel, K Utterson, C Joiner (all Edinburgh Reivers); M McKenzie (Glasgow Caledonians), G Burns; B Stewart, S Scott, A Jacobsen (all Edinburgh Reivers), S Campbell (capt), S Griffiths (both Glasgow Caledonians), D Mackinnon (Edinburgh Reivers), R Reid (Glasgow Caledonians), A Mower (Newcastle Falcons). Replacements: G Scott (Glasgow Caledonians), M Proudfoot (Edinburgh Reivers), R Beattie (Newcastle Falcons), A Dall (Heriots FP) G Dall, I Fairley (both Edinburgh Reivers), B Irving, S Longstaff (both Glasgow Caledonians).

SAMOA: M Schuster; P Misa, G Elisara, A Toleafoa, S Faasua; C Burnes, I Evalu; L Nuusila, M Schwalger (capt), H Williams, F Taua, S Tone, P Mavaega, A Mika, F Matagitau. Replacements: H V Patu, Q Sanft, S Soolefai, J Mamea, S Poaching, D Tafaemaalii, T Veiru.

Referee: N Williams (Wales).

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