Scotland A showed the England Saxons just why their senior side will have plenty to fear in Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations 2012 opener at Murrayfield, as they subjected them to a 35-0 trouncing in Galashiels on Friday evening.
20 points from Duncan Weir and strong Scottish defence, allied with English ill discipline – there were two England Saxons sin-binned in the 80 minutes – meant that the Scottish reserves were more than a match for their English guests.
Glasgow players dominated the Scotland A lineup, and it was their full back, Hogg, who delighted the crowd with a 60 yard run in for the opening try, after Weir had opened with a penalty. This was converted to make it 10-0.
The Scottish team was solid in defence, and worked through phases well when with ball in hand.
Just before half time, England lock James Gaskell was pinged for a high tackle on Matt Scott – when referee Leighton Hodges showed the yellow card, perhaps the writing was on the wall for the visitors, particularly when Weir kicked a penalty soon after to give Scotland A the 13-0 half time lead – with 7 minutes of power play to open the second period to come.
The sides were back to 15 apiece before another point was scored, but it was to be Weir again, this time with a try, right under the posts, which he then converted to make it 20-0 after 52 minutes.
Ed Slater was then sin-binned for England Saxons giving Scotland A another one man advantage during which Weir added three points, before further tries from Lawson and Matt Scott plus one conversion from Weir took the home team’s tally to 35 – without the Saxons scoring a single point in front of 4,124 gleeful home supporters.
It is tomorrow that counts for the real bragging rights, but, on the evidence of tonight, any gap between England and Scotland certainly does not run deep, if it exists at all.
As a curtain raiser for Murrayfield, this will have been enjoyed mainly by those men who will remain north of the border beyond the weekend.