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Scotland 43 Georgia 16: Scots score six tries to end Autumn on a high

Stuart Hogg finishes off his solo score and Scotland's fourth of their win over Georgia at Kilmarmock.
Stuart Hogg finishes off his solo score and Scotland's fourth of their win over Georgia at Kilmarmock.

Scotland finished their autumn campaign in some style with a six-try spectacular at Rugby Park over a spirited but outpaced Georgia.

After conceding a careless opening try, the Scots roared back with four of their own before half-time to end any question that the match might be a potential banana skin at the end of the three-match November series.

On Kilmarnock’s artificial surface they were just too quick and ruthless in the first half as Tommy Seymour, Sean Maitland, Stuart Hogg and a penalty try put them in control.

Hamish Watson scored a fifth just after half-time and although Georgia fought back with their trademark forward strength and power in the second half and got a second try of their own, Hogg’s second score in the dying minutes completed the home side’s handsome win.

Scotland suffered an early blow conceding an opportunist try, but their direct running and pace proved too much for the Georgians with four tries in response in a breathless first half.

The shock came after just six minutes, with Georgia trying to maul in the 22 but spilling the ball. Scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze however smartly snapped up the loose ball, shrugged off Seymour’s tackle and nipped down the vacant blindside to score an unconverted try in the corner.

Scotland however bounced straight back three minutes later, Allan Dell and the outstanding Ryan Wilson combining for Hogg to chip in behind the Georgians, Seymour redeeming himself by barely beating Lobzhanidze to the ball after a long look by the TMO.

Greig Laidlaw converted and the Scots were back in attacking position almost immediately for their second score.

They lost the ball in one driving maul but soon got another, and this time had real momentum. Georgia were forced to haul it down at the line as Ross Ford shaped to score and referee Matt Carley gave the penalty try, converted by Laidlaw, and sin-binned lock Konstantine Mikautadze for good measure.

Full back Merab Kvirikashvili reduced the deficit with a penalty but the Scots quickly notched had their third try in 20 minutes.

Big carries from Ford and Wilson took the home side close to the line and although they missed one overlap chance, they quickly worked another and Maitland jinked past two defenders for his second try in successive weeks.

Laidlaw banged over that conversion and a penalty as Scotland continued to pour forward, briefly interrupted by a scrum push by Georgia that forced a penalty for Kvirikashvili to kick.

However the Scots had a fourth score just before half-time. Hogg was invited to run back after some aimless kicking, the full-back chipping into space and getting a fine bounce away from defenders and back into his arms to race untouched for 30 metres for his 12th try for Scotland.

31-11 at the half with Laidlaw’s fourth successful conversion was as good as the Killie crowd and the Scotland camp could have hoped for, and they quickly set about getting more within three minutes of the restart.

Georgia got themselves in a tangle defending Hogg again, and the Scots won a penalty, driving the resulting lineout for Hamish Watson to spin off and score his first try for his country.

However some of Scotland’s execution started to get a bit loose and Georgia enjoyed some possession for the first time in the match, scoring their second try when Lobzhanidze dived on the ball after a scrum push to the Scots’ line.

Scotland laboured for half and hour before Ali Price, in his first cap as a replacement, took a quick tap in his own 22 with three minutes left and raced upfield, fed fellow sub Rory Hughes who gave the easy scoring pass to Hogg to get his second try.

Att: 15,436

Scotland: S Hogg; S Maitland, M Bennett, A Dunbar, T Seymour; F Russell, G Laidlaw (capt); A Dell, R Ford, Z Fagerson; R Gray, J Gray; R Harley, H Watson, R Wilson.

Replacements: F Brown for Ford 52, A Allan for Dell 56, M Low for Fagerson 56, G Gilchrist for J Gray 74, J Barclay for Harley 48, A Price for Laidlaw 74, P Horne for Bennett 63, R Hughes for Maitland 52.

Georgia: M Kvirikashvili; G Aptsiauri , M Sharikadze, T Mchedlidze, A Todua; L Malaguradze, V Lobzhanidze; M Nariashvili, J Bregvadze, L Chilachava; K Mikautadze, G Nemsadze; V Kolelishvili; M Gorgodze, B Bitsadze.

Replacements: B Alkhazashvili for Bregvadze 49, K Asieshvili for Nariashvili 49, D Kubriashvili for Chilachava 49, L Lomidze for Bitsadze 52, G Tkhilaishvili for Kolelishvili 46, B Tsiklauri for Aptsiauri 27, S Sutiashvili for Nemsadze 61.

Ref: M Carley (RFU)

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