Five-try Scotland beat Tonga

    (Source: Sport24) Tries from Blair Cowan, Stuart Hogg, Alex Dunbar, Geoff Cross and Tommy Seymour helped Scotland settle a two-year-old score with an ultimately convincing 37-12 victory against Tonga on the plastic pitch at Kilmarnock Rugby Park.

    In the first international match involving a Tier One nation played on an artificial surface, Scotland overcame a poor first-half performance to avenge the 21-15 defeat they suffered against the Tongans at Pittodrie Stadium in Aderdeen in November 2012, an occasion on which they conspicuously failed to cross the opposition try line.

    In doing so, the Scots completed a satisfactory first home series under Kiwi Coach Vern Cotter, having beaten Argentina 41-31 and pushed New Zealand hard before losing 24-16.

    Scotland were on the front foot from the off. Flyhalf Finn Russell spurned a kickable penalty in favour of an attacking line-out in the left corner but Scotland made a mess of the set-piece opportunity.

    No 8 Johnnie Beattie also suffered a turnover when attempting to barge through the Tonga defence and it was the Pacific Islanders who were first to get points on the board.

    In the tenth minute flyhalf Latiume Fosita bisected the posts with a penalty from tight to the left touchline after Hogg failed to roll away from a tackle.

    That gave Tonga a 3-0 lead but they were a man down in the 14th minute when their captain and openside flanker Nili Latu was yellow carded by referee JP Doyle for obstructing Richie Gray at a ruck close to the Tongan try line.

    Scotland took advantage a minute later, New Zealand born flanker Cowan scoring from the back of a driving maul to claim his first try for his adopted country.

    Scotland captain and scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw landed the conversion to give Scotland a 7-3 lead but two penalties in as many minutes by Fosita put Tonga back in front, 9-7, with 23 minutes on the clock

    The tourists were back to their full complement of 15 players, Latu returning from the sin bin, when Scotland were reduced to 14.

    Dunbar was yellow carded for a tip tackle on full back Vungakoto Lilo and, while the inside centre was in the pitch-side cooler, Fosita stepped up to nail his fourth penalty, extending Tonga’s lead to 12-7.

    Scotland almost hit back in the 31st minute but they were penalised for offside when Fosita had a kick charged down by Laidlaw in Tonga’s in-goal area and Russel raced to touch down the loose ball.

    Two minutes later the hosts had their second try, though. A tackle from Russell forced Tonga spill the ball while attacking in the Scotland 22 and Hogg picked it up and raced 80 metres to score. Laidlaw converted, furnishing Scotland with a 14-12 advantage at the interval.

    The Scots conceded nine penalties in an error-strewn first half and were fortunate when Fosita registered his first place kicking miss, pushing an attempt wide from 40m, five minutes into the second-half.

    Three minutes later, however, Scotland had a third try on the board, courtesy of some fine footwork by Dunbar. The Glasgow centre collected a zipped pass from Russell and deftly nipped past two defenders before scoring in the right corner.

    Laidlaw missed the touchline conversion but then converted two penalties, pushing Scotland’s lead to 25-12.

    In the defeat against Tonga in Aberdeen two years ago Scotland failed to cross the opposite whitewash but they did so for a fourth time in Kilmarnock, their prodigiously bearded tighthead prop Cross burrowing over from a close-range ruck.

    Laidlaw’s conversion made it 32-12 but Scotland were still not finished. With three minutes to go Russell hoisted a Garryowen into the right corner and Seymour POUNCED for his third try in as many matches.

    1 COMMENT

    1. Ne hoko ha ngaahi tataʻo ʻa Blair Cowan, Stuart Hogg, Alex Dunbar, Geoff Cross mo Tommy Seymour ke tokoni ki hono huhuʻi e foʻi ʻa Sikotilani ʻi Tonga ʻi he taʻu ʻe ua kuohilí, ʻaki e kai ko e 37-12.

      Ne foʻi ʻa Sikotilani ʻi Tonga he 2012 ʻaki e kai ko e 21-15 pea ʻikai foki haʻanau foʻi tataʻo ʻe taha.
      Ko e malaʻe foki ko ʻeni ne fai ai ʻa e taú, Kilmarnock Rugby Park, ʻoku faliki ʻaki e pelesitiki hangē pe ha musie moʻoni e vakai atu ki aí.

      Kaekehe kuo ikuna ʻa Sikotilani he tau ko ʻení mo ʻenau faiako mei Nuʻu Sila ko ia ko Vern Cotter.
      Ko e tataʻo fakakātoa ʻa Sikotilani ʻe 5 pea ko e kai ʻo Tongá ko e ʻaka kotoa pe ʻikai ha tataʻo.

      Naʻe taki ʻa Tonga ʻaki ha ʻakatautea ʻa Latiume Fositā ʻo tuʻu e kai he kamataʻangá ko e 3-0 ka ʻi he miniti hono 14 ne kaati engeengaʻi ai ʻa e kapiteni Nili Lātū ʻe he fakamāú, JP Doyle ko hono fakafaingataʻaʻiaʻi ʻo Richie Gray lolotonga ʻoku ʻohokai ʻa Sikotilani he laine tataʻo ʻa Tongá.

      Ne maʻu faingamālie ʻa Sikotilani hili ha miniti mei ai ʻo hū atu ʻenau tangata fanauʻi Nuʻu Sila ko ia ko Cowan mei mui ʻi ha foʻi molo ʻo fakahoko ha foʻi tataʻo maʻa Sikotilani.

      ʻAkahi ia ʻo hū ʻe heʻenau kapitení ʻo taki ai ʻa Sikotilani ko e 7-3 ka ne toe ʻai ha foʻi ʻakatautea ʻe 2 ʻe Fositā ʻo ʻalu hake ʻa Tonga ʻo taki ko e 9-7 ʻi he ʻosi ia ʻa e miniti ʻe 23 mei he kamatá.

      Ne foki hake ʻa Nili ki loto ʻo toe kakato e timi ʻa Tongá kae ʻalu hifo ʻa Sikotilaniʻ o toko 14 mei hano kaati engeengaʻi ʻo Dunbar ko ʻene tekolo fakatuʻutāmaki ʻi he leʻokolo ʻa Tongá, Vungakoto Lilo pea ne ʻakahi ai ʻe Fositā ʻene ʻakatautea hono faá ʻo ʻalu hake ʻa Tonga ʻo taki ko e 12-7.

      Ne fai atu ʻo toe tataʻo ʻa Sikotilani ia ʻi hono tuʻo uá mei ha foʻi pulu teka mei he 22 ʻo toʻo ia ʻe Hogg ʻo leleʻi ʻo tataʻo. Ne ʻakahi ia ʻe Laidlaw ʻo hū ʻalu hake ai ʻa Sikotilani ʻo taki ko e 14-12 pea mālōlō e tuʻu ʻuluakí.

      Naʻe toe ʻai ʻe Sikotilani ʻenau tataʻo hono tolú ka ne ʻikai hū ʻenau ʻakafakahū ne fakahoko ʻe Dunbar. Ka ne ʻai ʻe Dunbar ʻenau toe ʻakatautea ʻe ua ʻo ʻalu hake ai ʻa e kaí ʻo 25-12.

      Ne toe hoko atu mo e tataʻo ʻe taha ʻa Sikotilani pea ʻakahi ia ʻo hū ʻalu hake kaí ʻo 32-12 pea ʻi he toe ʻa e miniti ʻe tolu pea ʻosi ʻa e taimí ne toe ʻai ʻe Seymour ha tataʻo fakaʻosi maʻa Sikotilani ʻo ʻalu hake kai ʻo 37-12 mo e ʻosi ʻa e taimi kakató kuo mālohi ʻa Sikotilani ʻi Tonga.

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