Scotland kick-off Autumn Nations Series in style as Wales lose to New Zealand

Kyle Steyn celebrates scoring his second try with Darcy Graham and Rufus McLean 30/10/2021
Kyle Steyn’s four tries helped power Scotland to a convincing 60-14 win over Tonga as the Autumn Nations Series got underway at BT Murrayfield.

Kyle Steyn’s four tries helped power Scotland to a convincing 60-14 win over Tonga as the Autumn Nations Series got underway at BT Murrayfield.

Steyn’s try-scoring feast came on his first international start and before he had even opened his account, debutant Rufus McLean had crossed for an early double on the other wing.

Scotland went on to score ten tries in total and although Tonga, who had limited preparation coming into the fixture, rallied, Gregor Townsend’s side finished as comfortable winners ahead of their next game against Australia.

McLean got things going after only seven minutes and soon had a second before Steyn got his first and another new boy, prop Pierre Schoeman, marked his first cap with Scotland’s fourth try before the 30-minute mark with Steyn completing his hat-trick before half-time.

Scotland did not relent after the interval as George Turner, Nick Haining and Oli Kebble all crossed the whitewash.

Steyn then became the first Scottish player to score four for 26 years when he dotted down in the last play of his second cap.

Tonga showed plenty of promise and after Rob Harley was sent to the sin bin, the men in red capitalised with prop David Lolohea crashing over to go with three James Faiva penalties.

But they also had a man yellow carded, Aisea Halo paying the price for colliding with McLean in mid-air, as Scotland added late gloss to the scoreline.

Tonga will be looking to bounce back at Twickenham as they face England next week in Eddie Jones’ side’s Autumn Nations Series opener.

Beauden Barrett marked the occasion of his 100th cap for New Zealand by putting in a man of the match display, bookending the All Blacks’ 54-16 win over 2021 Guinness Six Nations champions Wales with two intercept tries in the second match of the Autumn Nations Series.

The talismanic fly-half shone throughout and proved the difference against an injury-hit Wales side whose only try was scored by Johnny Williams after they had lost captain Alun Wyn Jones and flanker Ross Moriarty before half-time

TJ Perenara, Will Jordan, Dalton Papalii, Sevu Reece and Anton Lienert-Brown all crossed the whitewash along with 19 points from the boot of Beauden’s brother Jordie as the Principality Stadium welcomed fans back for the first time in two years.

Barrett got the show on the road as he intercepted his former Baby Blacks teammate Gareth Anscombe’s pass and raced away to score only three minutes in.

But the No.10 was lucky to escape a yellow card when he knocked-on trying to repeat the trick shortly after.

Jones trudged off, on the day he surpassed Richie McCaw by winning his 149th cap, clutching the same left shoulder which he injured before the British & Irish Lions embarked for South Africa.

Moriarty was injured in a collision with Nepo Laulala who was sin-binned for failing to wrap in the tackle but Wales were unable to capitalise going into half-time 18-6 down.

Having missed two years of rugby with a serious knee injury and in only his fourth game back, Anscombe was soon replaced by Rhys Priestland who immediately impressed upon entering the fray.

After inside centre Williams’ try from Priestland’s grubber through, Wales only trailed by 12 points with just 19 minutes to go.

However, the All Blacks finished with a flourish, scoring three tries in seven minutes with outrageous offloading coming to the fore before, fittingly, Barrett rounded things off with another intercept on the night he became a centurion.

Flanker Taine Basham impressed Wales boss Wayne Pivac ahead of next week’s clash against South Africa while New Zealand head to Rome to play Italy full of confidence.