Scotland vs Fiji, Sat, 10/11/2018 - 14:30

Scotland
54 - 17
Full time
Fiji
Saturday, 10 November, 2018 - 14:30 | BT Murrayfield

Scotland ran in eight tries – five in a second-half where they prevented the free-spirited Fijians from scoring a single point – to open their home 2018 Autumn Tests campaign in fine style before a capacity BT Murrayfield crowd today.

A hat-trick from Tommy Seymour, lifting him one above his Glasgow Warriors team-mate Stuart Hogg on Scotland’s all-time try list, and touch-downs from Allan Dell, Fraser Brown, Sean Maitland, Jamie Ritchie and Adam Hastings took Scotland to their biggest victory against Fiji with their highest points margin for good measure.

It was also Scotland’s tenth win on home soil in 11 matches.

For sure, there will be work-ons for Scotland with South Africa and Argentina coming in the next fortnight but as an opener it left a hearty appetite for more.

Before kick-off, a minute’s silence to mark Armistice Weekend was observed impeccably, then opposite wingers Sean Maitland and  Vereniki Goneva embraced.

Fiji kicked off towards Roseburn Park and after a Finn Russell Garryowen was collected by the visitors, Scotland were penalised at the breakdown and Ben Volavola had the game’s first points. (0-3, 2 mins).

Alex Dunbar’s missed tackle in the Fiji 22, set alarm bells ringing but Stuart Hogg got back to save and the trusty boot of Greig Laidlaw ensured a timely clearance.

Scotland’s slow start continued as another breakdown penalty came Fiji’s way but Volavola’s kick ran out of oxygen before the posts.

From an offside penalty against Talebula, Hogg’s touchfinder, Grant Gilchrist’s catch and Fraser Brown’s thumping drive, hinted at better things.  Another penalty, lineout secured, prompted another drive from which Allan Dell rumbled over for his first try for Scotland.  Laidlaw converted. (7-3, 12 mins). 

Scotland had discovered their mojo and from the inevitable thrust from Hogg, Dunbar bulldozed on into the Fiji 22, Peter Horne almost found a way over on the right wing – though the pass to Seymour looked the easier option – but from close-range, Brown did the business. Laidlaw converted (14-3, 17 mins).

A lineout mis-fire from Brown, Gilchrist unable to collect, saw Fiji gather for Peceli Yato to feed his fellow back-row forward Bill Mata and Edinburgh Rugby’s talisman was in under the sticks.  Volvola converted (14-10, 22 mins).

Fiji then made another advance on the scoreboard, sparked by the man who was so often the creative genius at the other end of the M8.  Leone Nakarawa, once of Glasgow Warriors, exploded from the loose, and though Scotland got hands to his pass, Fiji recycled and Cavabuti sent Radradra blazing in for the score.  Volavola converted and the visitors led again. (14-17, 27 mins)

Scotland looked to have exploited the sin binning of Tevita Cavubati for maul collapse when Brown was awarded a try on 33 minutes.  But the intervention of the TMO, saw Jamie Ritchie penalised for an obstruction and the score was ruled out.

Willem Nel almost made it over for a try – referee Brace allowing the TMO to adjudicate that the ball had gone forward – before another driving maul was thwarted illegally by the Fijians and Nakarwa was dispatched to the sin bin.

Scotland opted to scrum from the penalty and the Fiji loosehead buckled to concede another penalty. At last, the ball was released from the next scrum and Russell’s exquisite miss-pass sent Tommy Seymour in for his 17thtry for Scotland. Laidlaw converted majestically from the right. (21-17).

Half-time: Scotland 21 Fiji 17

Fiji restarted with 13 players and it was important that Scotland made their numerical advantage count. From Hogg’s kick, Fiji eventually lost the ball forward and though Caavubati was back for the scrum, Scotland attacked and probed patiently before Sean Maitland was unleashed for his tenth try for his country. Laidlaw maintained his 100% kicking record (28-17, 42 mins).

Volavola miscued a long-range penalty before Nakarawa returned. 

Debutant Sam Skinner made a rousing surge for the home team and Scotland continued to look menacing with Russell pulling the strings.

From a close-range scrum Horne found space and then Laidlaw released Seymour on the sweetest of cuts for the winger’s second try of the day. Laidlaw converted (35-17, 57 mins).

The BT Murrayfield crowd then rose to acclaim Scotland’s sixth try and what a score it was!

Clinical, in that Hogg initiated it from a missed Fiji penalty to touch, and then embellished gloriously by the stunning hands of Russell and Pete Horne before Harris carved an opening and sent Seymour in for his hat-trick and his 19thtry for Scotland. (40-17, 62 mins)

Scotland continued to play the game at pace, a tribute to their fitness, underlined by the manner in which they pursued a kick into the Fijian 22, forcing a knock-on.

George Horne and Adam Hastings, finding spaces in the claustrophobic confines of the visitors’ defence, created Scotland’s seventh try duly scored by Jamie Ritchie, his first for his country.  Finn Russell converted (47-17, 77 mins).

And what a way to bring down the curtain.  Josh Strauss and George Horne combined from a scrum and Adam Hastings released Russell. The return pass was utterly sublime and Hastings was another to thunder in for his first try for his country. Russell, of course, converted. (54-17).

Full time: Scotland 54 Fiji 17

Scotland: Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Pete Horne (all Glasgow Warriors), Sean Matiland (Saracens); Finn Russell (Racing 92), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne) captain; Allan Dell (Edinburgh Rugby), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Willem Nel (Edinburgh Rugby), Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors).

Subs: Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) for Brown (51 mins), Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors) for Dell (54 mins), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh Rugby) for Nel (54 mins), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) for Wilson (60 mins), Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks) for Fagerson (29 mins), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) for Laidlaw (60 mins, Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) for Peter Horne (70 mins), Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons) for Dunbar (48 mins).

Fiji: Setareki Tuicuvu; Metui Talebula, Semi Radradra, Jale Vatabua, Vereniki Goneva; Ben Volavola, Frank Lomani; Campese Maafu, Sam Matavesi, Manasa Saulo, Tevita Cavuabti, Leone Nakarawa, Dominiko Waqaniburotu captain, Peceli Yato, Viliame Mata 

Subs: Mesulame Dolokoto for Matevesi (58 mins); Eroni Mawi for Maafu (57 mins), Kalivate Tawake for Sualo (50 mins) Albert Tuisue for Cavubati (69 mins), Semi Kunatani for Yato (63 mins), Henry Seniloli for Lomani (61 mins), Alivereti Veitokani for Vasiteri (63 mins), Eroni Vasiteri for Tuicuvu (23 mins).

 

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland).  Assistant referees: Luke Pearce and Karl Dickson (both England).  TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand).

Team lineups

Scotland
Fiji

Backs

15 Setareki Tuicuvu
14 Metui Talebula
13 Semi Radradra
12 Jale Vatabua
11 Vereniki Goneva
10 Ben Volavola
9 Frank Lomani

Forwards

1 Campese Maafu
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Manasa Saulo
4 Tevita Cavubati
5 Leone Nakarawa
6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu
7 Peceli Yato
8 Viliame Mata

Substitutes

16 Mesulame Dolokoto
17 Eroni Mawi
18 Kalivate Tawake
19 Albert Tuisue
20 Semi Kunatani
21 Henry Seniloli
22 Alivereti Veitokani
23 Eroni Vasiteri
Attendance: 
67 144
Tennent's Man of the match: 
Sam Skinner
There is no points table for this competition.

Autumn Tests 2018 latest results

Scotland 54 v 17 Fiji
Wales 21 v 10 Scotland