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Rugby: Seymour hat-trick as eight-try Scotland thrash Fiji 54-17

Rugby: Seymour hat-trick as eight-try Scotland thrash Fiji 54-17

Fiji's centre Semi Radradra (centre) is tackled during the international rugby union match between Scotland and Fiji at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. (ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP)

EDINBURGH: Tommy Seymour scored a hat-trick as Scotland ran in eight tries to beat Fiji 54-17 at Murrayfield on Saturday (Nov 10) and claim their first win of the Autumn internationals.

Allan Dell, Fraser Brown, Sean Maitland, Jamie Ritchie and Adam Hastings also scored tries as the Scots survived an early scare when scores from Viliame Mata and Semi Radradra gave Fiji a 17-14 lead.

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend had recalled the experience of Stuart Hogg, Greig Laidlaw and Finn Russell from the side beaten 21-10 by Wales in Cardiff last week and they also all played a big part in a fine display.

Townsend knew to his cost how dangerous the Pacific Islanders could be after watching his side suffer defeat in Suva 17 months ago.

And there were early warning signs as Radradra's lightning burst required a last-gasp intervention from Hogg to prevent the visitors adding to Ben Volavola's second-minute penalty.

But it was Scotland who grabbed the opening try after 12 minutes as the forwards bludgeoned their way to the line before Dell dived over for a score converted by Laidlaw.

Seymour then played his part in Scotland's second try as Brown burrowed over.

But the hooker was at fault as Fiji pounced on his overthrown line-out moments later, with Bill Mata powering through the middle to score under the posts.

And the visitors moved in front thanks to a moment of inspiration from Leone Nakarawa as he found a chink in the Scots' defence.

Frank Lomani was sent scampering clear before Tevita Cavubati popped the ball off to Radrada to touchdown.

However, the pressure imposed by Scotland's forwards soon proved too much for the Fijians, who had both Cavubati and Nakarawa sent to the sin bin after hauling down mauls within sight of the line.

The hosts eventually let their backs loose in the final minute before the break and with a two-man advantage there was no stopping them as Russell whipped the ball wide for Seymour to dive over to give Scotland a 21-17 half-time lead.

It took just two minutes from the restart for the lead to be stretched as Maitland crossed and the floodgates opened.

Laidlaw's clever reverse pass teed up Seymour for his second on 58 minutes.

And the Glasgow wing wrapped up his hat-trick three minutes later as another rapid exchange of passes saw the Scots work the ball from left to right before Seymour lunged over for his 19th try from 45 Tests.

There was still time for two more tries as Fiji wilted in the final minutes.

Ritchie scrambled over the line for his first international try before substitute Hastings, son of former Scotland great Gavin Hastings, finished off a fine counter-attack.

Source: AFP/de


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