Tommy Seymour crossed for a hat-trick as Scotland emerged impressive 54-17 victors over Fiji at BT Murrayfield.
Gregor Townsend’s side are developing a fearsome record at home and they returned to BT Murrayfield following defeat in Cardiff last week and had too much for the Pacific Islanders, particularly in the second half.
In addition to Seymour’s treble, Sean Maitland, Jamie Ritchie and Adam Hastings all crossed in the second half to add to Allan Dell and Fraser Brown first-half efforts.
The first half was all about Fijian flair and Scottish steel as Scotland dominated in the tight exchanges and Fiji looked to offload and attack from everywhere.
The Pacific Islanders served notice of their intentions early on with a Ben Volavola penalty and a stunning Semi Radrada break from their own 22.
But the game’s overarching theme soon emerged, Dell muscling his way over from short-range for the game’s first try and soon after Brown did the same from a rolling maul.
But then Bill Mata on his home ground scored a stunner from a Peceli Yato offload, Volavola added the extras and the Pacific Islanders were still in it, trailing only 14-10.
And soon they were in front – Radrada bursting over under the posts after yet more fine offloading from the Fijians.
However, the game’s key passage arrived either side of the interval as first Tevita Cavubati and then Leone Nakarawa saw yellow as Scotland’s pack turned the screw.
Brown had a try ruled out for crossing but the 13-men of Fiji could only hold out for so long and on the stroke of half time Seymour went over untouched down the right.
And while Cavubati returned at the start of the second period, Scotland made their numerical advantage continue to count and before Fiji were back to 15 men, Maitland had squeezed over.
Laidlaw was unerring from the kicking tee thus far and Scotland had opened up a 28-17 lead.
And as the second half wore on, Scotland dominated possession and manufactured two more tries down the right for Seymour to complete his hat-trick – the second of which was a magnificent counter attack the Fijians would have been proud of.
And then in the final moments of the game Scotland padded the scoreline, the impressive Ritchie got the score his performance merited, grounding at the base of the post before Hastings burst clear for the final score and brought up the half century.
It was nip and tuck for the first half an hour of this game but either side of half time Fiji were undone by their indiscipline.
First Tevita Cavubati and then Leone Nakarawa both saw yellow as the Scotland set-piece turned the screw and in that time Tommy Seymour and Sean Maitland both burst over and a close game had become a blow out before Fiji could muster a response.
WHAT THEY SAID
Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw: “It was awesome to be back, it’s an incredible place to play rugby. The boys put on a show today.
“We knew it was going to be a tough test and to bounce back in international rugby is important. We need to build on this again for sure, but we’ve scored 54 points against a very good team and we need to recover and come back next week.
Scotland debutant Sam Skinner: “I feel very fortunate to be part of the whole thing. Huge effort from the boys to get the win.
“International rugby feels a lot quicker than the English Premiership. Fiji have awesome individuals and played at a high tempo.
Jamie Ritchie caught the eye in the Scotland back row on his first start while Fraser Brown guided an impressive Scottish set-piece.
Sam Skinner was also everywhere in the second row on his Scotland debut but it’s hard to look past Tommy Seymour as the key man.
The British & Irish Lion had never before crossed for a hat-trick for his country, but the winger was in fine finishing form on Saturday. His treble takes his overall tally to 19 tries from 45 Tests.
– Allan Dell crossed for his first Scotland try in his 15th Test – Tommy Seymour has only once before bagged a double for Scotland, in his third Test all the way back in 2013 – this was his first international hat-trick – Fiji beat Scotland 27-22 in their last meeting, in Suva, in June 2017 – Greg Laidlaw was making his first Scotland outing since the final match of the 2018 Six Nations and led the team for the first time under Gregor Townsend – Exeter Chiefs lock Sam Skinner made his Test debut for Scotland – Scotland have won nine of their past ten matches at BT Murrayfield, their only defeat coming against New Zealand