Scotland A 69 Georgia 3: Robinson loves it when a plan comes together

EDINBURGH coach Andy Robinson maintained his 100 per cent record as supremo of the Scotland back-up team as his charges ran in 11 tries at windswept Firhill to create a new Scotland A scoring record.

After their fine World Cup showing, Georgia were very disappointing. However, the Scots could only play what was in front of them and they scored five tries before the pause and six after while remaining a structured unit operating at pace from first to last with no individual losing the team ethos to go 'pot-hunting'.

Robinson said: "I was pleased with many facets of play; the ambition the boys showed, winning the collisions, looking for support play with the offloads and that they were relentless."

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While refusing to look beyond his A team, he remarked: "When you get line breaks it's then about finishing. The good thing is the guys took their tries well."

Georgia's Australian coach Tim Lane put the visiting team in context when he explained that 12 of their ideal pick had been retained by French sides, meaning that eight total amateurs based in Georgia had to be fielded with consequent fitness disparity.

Attacking the French clubs, he said: "Ahead of the game, we had won nine out of 11 games but we got no help at all from the French outfits. Four out our five top props play for Top 14 clubs – not one was released. So this was Scotland A versus Georgia A – quite a gap."

Although it took 17 minutes for Scotland to get the opening score, they had Georgia on the back-foot throughout. Typical was winger Nikki Walker's first run that ended in a tackle which he drove all of at least ten metres before he was grounded.

However, the crowd were becoming nervy before right wing Mark Robertson produced a piece of neat footwork that upset the visiting defence and the move ended with debutant flanker Richie Vernon getting the scoreboard moving. Georgia then got a penalty through Otar Barkalaia when Kelly Brown went over-robustly for a loose ball.

The all-important second try followed two minutes later and it was an absolute cracker from centre Max Evans. A perfect hand-off allowed him to break the line on halfway. He followed up with acceleration and change of direction that opened the way to the line to which he dashed with panache.

The Georgian morale then notably wilted with their scrum regularly disintegrating and, from pressure in the visiting 22, Robertson opened a gap for Mark McMillan to dart through.

The restart kick resulted in Craig Hamilton feeding Brown on halfway. The man-of-the-match span around, broke the tackle and sprinted 40 metres to touch down.

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The first-half scoring was closed on the whistle by centre Rob Dewey running in from a similar distance. Gordon Ross' third conversion allowed the Scots to turn leading 31-3.

Robinson made two half-time changes. As had been planned, Robertson came off to give experienced wing Simon Webster a half while even more experienced prop Gavin Kerr had to substitute early for debutant tight head Geoff Cross, who had sustained a shoulder knock.

Webster immediately showed his experience, and class, to claim the first try of the second half.

Acting as scrum half in broken play, Walker then dashed 15 metres to grab the seventh try of the match.

The subs were well underway by now and it was one of them, centre Andy Henderson, who ended an impressive combined move at pace, started when Brown caught the kick-off ball, before flanker Scott Newlands shot on to a loose ball for the ninth score.

Henderson took a textbook line to score off scrummage ball. And, to the delight of the Glasgow crowd another of their own, Vernon, ended the night as he had started it by touching down four minutes into stoppage time.

Ross and Colin Gregor divided exactly the four second-half conversions.

It was an evening when it was difficult for any of the Scots to do his chances harm in the eyes of watching international coach Frank Hadden but Brown and Evans certainly made powerful claims to be given an outing in Aberdeen against Canada.

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Scotland A: R Jackson; N Walker, M Evans (A Henderson 58), R Dewey, M Robertson (S Webster HT); G Ross (C Gregor 66), M McMillan; E Kalman, P Fitzgerald (A Kelly 63), G Cross (G Kerr HT), C Hamilton (D Turner 58), A Kellock, R Vernon, K Brown, J Beattie (S Newlands 63).

Georgia: O Barkalaia (M Kvirikashvili 53); I Chkhikvadze, D Kacharava, A Todua (G Shkinin 61), I Machkhaneli; L Malaguradze, I Abuseridze (B Samkharadze 68); D Gasviani (D Dadunashvili 47), I Natriashvili (V Karovin 58), G Kavtidze, I Zedginidze, K Uchava, R Urushadze, S Sutiashvili (B Udesiani 58), D Basilaia (S Maisuradze 58).

Referee: J Jones (Wales)