Sport Rugby

Sunday 18 March 2018

Miserable Scots fall well short

Scotland 15
Tonga 21

Matt McGeehan

Tonga triumphed in Aberdeen as Scotland slumped to another miserable loss which is sure to pile pressure on Andy Robinson.

Tries from Lua Lokotui and Fetu'u Vainikolo and 11 points from the boot of Fangatapu Apikotoa earned Tonga a memorable win at Pittodrie. Greig Laidlaw kicked five penalties for Scotland, who were blunt in attack, as Robinson's men fell to a third defeat of the EMC Test series following losses to New Zealand and South Africa.

Scotland lacked ideas to overcome their physical opponents, who had three players sin-binned but were deserved winners. A season which featured early World Cup elimination and a Six Nations wooden spoon was revived by the June wins in Australia, Fiji and Samoa before New Zealand and South Africa inflicted defeats which will see Scotland outside the top eight seeds for the 2015 World Cup draw.

Assuming he is retained, Robinson will next enter his fourth Six Nations, beginning with the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham, needing a remarkable turnaround to avoid another abject spring showing.

Tonga lost to Italy and beat the United States this month and featured a host of European-based players eager to claim another northern hemisphere scalp following their World Cup win over France in the third Test between the sides.

Scotland were bidding for a morale-boosting win, just as they claimed in 1995 and 2001, but they fell behind early on – and, somewhat symbolically, the final act of the game was Tom Heathcote dropping a Rory Lawson pass as the Scottish players stood crestfallen, and defeated, across the pitch.

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