Scotland finish warm-up campaign on a high with Georgia success

Scotland were pushed harder than in Tbilisi a week ago but still came through a testing World Cup clash with Georgia 36-9 at BT Murrayfield.

Scotland were pushed harder than in Tbilisi a week ago but still came through a testing World Cup clash with Georgia 36-9 at BT Murrayfield.

A week after their 44-10, this was a much tighter affair despite the final scoreline, with Scotland leading 10-9 at the break thanks to tries from Ali Price and Blair Kinghorn.

However, Scotland were able to pull away in the second period as Sam Johnson, Darcy Graham, George and Peter Horne all crossed for Gregor Townsend’s side in their final World Cup warm-up before Japan.

Georgia had the first real chance of the game when tighthead prop Beka Gigashvili burst through some weak tackling but just as he seemed to be heading over for the try, Jonny Gray’s last-gasp tackle dislodged the ball.

And it got even better for Scotland from the resulting scrum, Gordon Reid forcing a penalty out of Gigashvili that allowed the home side to clear their lines.

The prop was not the only person to see a chance go begging, the returning Tommy Seymour letting the ball slip when he seemed certain to go in on the left.

Still, Scotland did strike first on 17 minutes, Price the beneficiary after some great work from his back three. Kinghorn had received a loose kick and saw the opportunity to run it back. He found some space before passing to Graham who sprinted away.

He drew two men before finding Johnson, and the centre’s offload put Price in for the try. Adam Hastings was off-target with his conversion but Scotland led 5-0.

Georgia hit straight back thanks to a penalty from Tedo Abzhandadze, but Scotland were soon in again, Kinghorn going from creator to try-scorer.

Hastings had spotted some space in behind and tried a clever little chip kick, well-collected by Graham. And while his path to the try-line was cut off, he was able to find his Edinburgh colleague inside for the score. Hastings again missed the conversion.

Georgia kept coming through, Abzhandadze knocking over another penalty for a ruck infringement and they were back to within a point by half-time when he added a third of the evening, this time for offside from a kick.

Both teams had lost a man to the sin-bin by that point, Zander Fagerson and Mikheil Nariashvili paying the price for the scrum struggling to stay up in the opening half-hour.

The sides were restored to their full complement in the second half, and it took nine minutes for Scotland to get their third try, Johnson finishing this time after the forwards had hammered away at the visitors’ line. Zurab Dzeneladze was sin-binned for the Georgians for offside in the build-up to the try as Hastings’ conversion made it 17-9.

The game ebbed back and forth, Abzhandadze missing a chance to cut the gap back to five with his first missed shot at goal of the game.

Scotland were in control, but they sealed the win 12 minutes from time thanks to the electric Graham. Given the ball with very little space on the left, he showed remarkable acceleration to race away and go over in the corner.

And he was quickly followed by Horne, the scrum-half darting over after Hastings’ initial break in the Georgian 22.

His brother got in on the act with the final score of the game, taking advantage of an ill-advised chip from Abzhandadze on his own line to go under the posts.