EDINBURGH, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Scotland made a quick start with an early try but had to hang on for a 44-38 victory over Samoa in a try-filled test at Murrayfield on Saturday. Stuart Hogg crossed over inside 90 seconds for the first of six Scottish tries to set the foundation for home success and there were also scores for Stuart McInally (2), Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar and substitute Pete Horne.
Samoa replied with five tries – four in a spirited second- half display as they gave the Scots a stiff examination. Scotland made the perfect start after a Finn Russell chip to get through the defence and a hack-on by Tommy Seymour bounced perfectly for fullback Hogg to go over. Debutant lock Josh Tyrell claimed a pushover try for Samoa just before the 30-minute mark but the Scots responded with two tries to go into the interval 25-10 ahead.Jones used his speed to slip the Samoa defence and McInally got his first score on the stroke of halftime. McInally’s second try, almost identical to the first as Scotland used their strength in the maul, came six minutes into the second half as the home side opened up 22-point gap. But tries from Piula Fa’asalele and Tim Nanai-Williams, playing flyhalf for the first time, suddenly brought Samoa right back into contention as the deficit was reduced to 32-24. The sides traded scores with Dunbar fighting his way over after a clever pick-up from Lee Jones but Samoa responding straight from the kick off as Kieron Fonotia crashed over the line. Hogg’s counter-attack set Horne up to take Scotland over 40 points but Samoa stayed in contention when Ofisa Trevirabnus went over under the posts. Scotland next play New Zealand and Australia.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson,; Editing by Ed Osmond