Scotland survived a second-half fightback to kick off their international season with a 44-38 win over Samoa at BT Murrayfield.
The hosts looked to be cruising to a comfortable win when 32-10 up early in the second half, but the tourists fought back gamely in Edinburgh in a match that saw 11 tries.
Two from Stuart McInally, and one each for Stuart Hogg, Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar and Peter Horne proved enough however, to secure a win in Gregor Townsend’s first home game in charge of the Dark Blues.
What they said
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend: “It is the first time this team has played together. The opposition are going to force you into errors because they are excellent players and we know on all aspects of the game we have to be better and we know that going into next week.”
Samoa second row Chris Vui: “I felt like even though the result didn’t go our way, it almost put us back on the map. We’re a really proud country and we’re here to play rugby. I thought we showed that.”
Tweet of the match
Moment of the match
Stuart Hogg’s opening try. The score just 90 seconds into the game set the tone for a thrilling, free-flowing game of rugby. An early turnover earned Scotland possession and Finn Russell’s perfectly-weighted chip was kicked ahead by Tommy Seymour and Samoa full-back Ahsee Tuala was caught out by the bounce that fell into the hands of the supporting Hogg, who coasted in under the posts for the first of 11 tries in the game.
Star man – Stuart McInally
The Edinburgh hooker put in the hard yards for Scotland at the breakdown, was impeccable with his throwing at the lineout and was very effective at the base of the hosts’ maul, finishing off two drives perfectly with a pair of well-taken tries.
For all of Scotland’s attacking flair it is their defence that will be of grave concern to new coach Townsend. He will not be overly impressed with the way the home side conceded five tries from close range. They will certainly need to put in some work on the training ground to tighten up ahead of next week’s clash with world champions New Zealand, who will be licking their lips at Scotland’s generosity against Samoa.
Scotland: Stuart Hogg 7, Tommy Seymour 6, Huy Jones 7, Alex Dunbar 7, Lee Jones 6, Finn Russell 7, Ali Price 7, Darryl Marfo 7, Stuart McInally 9, WP Nel 5, Ben Toolis 7, Jonny Gray 7, John Barclay 6, Hamish Watson 6, Ryan Wilson 6. Replacements: George Turner (on for McInally, 59), Jamie Bhatti (on for Marfo, 59), Zander Fagerson (on for Nel, 32) 7, Tim Swinson (on for Toolis, 72), Cornell Du Preez (on for Barclay, 59), Henry Pyrgos (on for Price, 65), Pete Horne (on for Russell, 65), Chris Harris (on for Seymour 59).