Thursday 20 July 2017

Jackson strike spares Scotland's blushes

SCOTLAND 19 SAMOA 16

Matt McGeehan

Head coach Andy Robinson was a relieved man in Aberdeen. After the 49-3 defeat to New Zealand and a 21-17 win over world champions South Africa, Ruaridh Jackson's last-gasp penalty earned Scotland a fifth win in six Tests, despite not being at their best.

"It was a tight match but I'm delighted we understood how to win the game," said Robinson. "I thought the defence in the last 10 minutes was exemplary. Today highlighted that we've got to be at our very best and we weren't at our best as a collective."

Scotland have beaten Australia, Ireland, Argentina (twice) and South Africa in little more than a year, but were tested to the full by Samoa and had to come from behind to take a 13-10 half-time lead.

After Dan Parks' early penalty, Kahn Fotuali'i's fine ninth-minute converted try put Samoa ahead, but Nikki Walker touched down for Scotland's first try of the autumn series.

Parks converted and added another penalty, but Paul Williams narrowed the deficit with three points of his own.

Williams twice kicked Samoa level with penalties either side of a Parks drop goal but 15 years after drawing with Scotland, Samoa were denied.

Scotland had won five and drew one of their previous six meetings with Samoa, who last recorded a European win in 2001 in Italy, but had previously defeated Wales and Ireland. And Robinson was pleased his side did not become a third Celtic scalp after failing to perform to their potential.

"I'm delighted to be able to do that," he said. "It's an 80-minute game and you've got to be able to play through those 80 minutes. As we saw after Ireland [in March], winning the last game of the series is great. The great thing for us is we won the game and now we can go away with confidence."

Scorers -- Scotland: Walker try; Parks 2 pens, con, dr gl; Jackson 1 pen. Samoa: Fotualii try; Williams 3 pens, con.

Scotland: H Southwell; N Walker, J Ansbro, G Morrison, S Lamont; D Parks, R Lawson (c); A Jacobsen, R Ford, E Murray, N Hines, R Gray, K Brown, R Vernon, J Barclay

Samoa: P Williams; D Lemi, G Pisi, S Mapusua, A Tuilagi, T Lavea, K Fotualii; S Taulafo, M Schwalger (c), C Johnston, F Lavea Levi, K Thompson, O Trevarinus, M Salavea, G Stowers.

Sunday Independent

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