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Scotland 23-10 Fiji

Scotland (16) 23
Try: Beattie, Morrison Con: Godman 2 Pens: Godman 3
Fiji (7) 10
Try: Goneva Con: Little Pens: Little

Rory Lamont

Highlights - Scotland 23-10 Fiji

By Clive Lindsay

Andy Robinson marked his first game as Scotland head coach with a convincing victory over Fiji at Murrayfield.

A Phil Godman penalty put the Scots in control before he added a conversion after a Johnnie Beattie try.

Godman slotted two more penalties, but Vereniki Goneva touched down against the run of play just before the break, with Nicky Little adding two points.

Graeme Morrison scored under the posts, with Godman converting, while Little replied with another penalty.

Robinson was returning to the Test stage three years after his disastrous reign as his own nation's side came to an end and having been charged with reviving Scotland's fortunes after the reign of Frank Hadden.

And the 45-year-old old Englishman's five-month wait for his first match came to an end with a significant victory, with Fiji one place above the Scots in the world rankings and the home side will now leapfrog them into ninth.

Both sides were without several top names through injury, while the Fijians had also been denied players by European clubs.

Scotland's player congratulate try scorer Johnnie Beattie

Video - Beattie try sets up Scots win (UK users only)

Fuji coach Glen Ella had criticised the modern kicking trend and promised that his side would continue to play running rugby.

But both sides traded long kicks into the opposition half in the early stages, although it was the hosts who dominated possession and territory.

And Godman put the Scots ahead after just 11 minutes with a kick from 40 metres wide on the left.

But the fly-half missed a great chance to extend the lead three minutes later when Josh Matavesi dropped a high ball and Nicky Little picked the ball up in an offside position.

Godman's kick from straight in front of the posts struck an upright.

However, it was not long before the Scots scored their first try following an excellent break by new captain Chris Cusiter.

The scrum-half offloaded to Beattie, whose momentum off the wet turf took him over the line, with Godman converting the simple kick.

Fiji had lost Josefa Domolailai, who was stretchered off with what looked like a bad leg injury after his tackle as he tried to prevent Scotland's try, with Samu Bola the replacement.

Two more Godman kicks put Scotland in control at 16-0 after 34 minutes.

However, Scotland were punished for allowing the momentum to drop when Fiji scored their first try after 39 minutes.

They were rewarded for running the ball after being awarded a couple of penalties and Goneva scored in the corner, with Little adding to the score with a fine conversion.

Alex Grove makes a tackle against Fiji
Grove made his debut for Scotland at Murrayfield

That seemed to inspire a Fiji side who had looked second best for much of the first half and they won an early penalty after the break. However, Little's kick slipped just wide.

There was a hint of a forward pass as Scotland scored their second try after 52 minutes, Cusiter feeding after immense pressure was put on the Fiji scrum and Morrison went in under the posts, with Godman converting.

However, Fiji reduced the deficit 10 minutes later when Al Strokosch was pulled up for a high tackle and Little stroked over the penalty.

Mike Blair, the joint Scotland captain who had come on for Cusiter, was carried off with what looked like a shoulder injury, with Chris Paterson taking over at scrum half.


Scotland: R. Lamont, S. Lamont, Grove, Morrison, Danielli, Godman, Cusiter, Jacobsen, Ford, Low, Hines, Kellock, Strokosch, Barclay, Beattie.
Replacements: Paterson for R. Lamont (63), Blair for Cusiter (63), Traynor for Jacobsen (63), Hall for Ford (70), White for Strokosch (65), Vernon for Beattie (80), De Luca for Blair (77).

Fiji: Matavesi, Goneva, Lovobalavu, Bai, Nalaga, Little, Rauluni, Yalayalatabua, Veikoso, Manu, Lewaravu, Rawaqa, Domolailai, Qera, Boko.
Replacements: Ratu for Matavesi (74), Vatuvoka for Rauluni (71), Dewes for Yalayalatabua (41), Ledua for Veikoso (70), Bola for Domolailai (23). Not Used: Nakarawa, Roko.

Att: 22,000

Ref: Chris White (RFU).



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see also
Robinson ready for 'dangerous' Fiji
13 Nov 09 |  Scotland
Rauluni calls for Fiji discipline
14 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Autumn internationals as they happened
14 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Autumn international photos
14 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Scotland's rugby-crazy Fijian soldiers
13 Nov 09 |  Scotland
Scots must play own game - Hines
13 Nov 09 |  Scotland
Mixed feelings for coach Robinson
14 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Cusiter not fazed by captaincy
12 Nov 09 |  Scottish
New era dawns for Scots
09 Nov 09 |  Scottish


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