Friday, 22 June 2012

A hat-trick for the boys down under?

The biggest concern with the male Scotland Rugby Union Team has always been their consistency. More often than not, three different scenario's unfold : the team pull off a miraculous one-off win against a top team; they are leading a match narrowly going into half time and then don't turn up in the second half or scenario three losing to a pretty average team. Nonetheless their supporters rally in their droves to Murrayfield and all over the world in particular when up against the auld enemy!
Tomorrow the team will be on the brink of making history, with these summer tour matches being the best results seen from the Scots in recent years. After upsetting world no.2 Australia by winning 9-6 with a penalty kick from Greig Laidlaw in added time to seal the deal, Andy Robinson will be looking for the same determination and courage from the team shown in that match. Heres hoping torrential rain is planned for the Samoan forecast and perhaps no similar antics from Ansbro and Strokosch! 
A Glasgow kiss!
The Scots followed up this positive start with an impressive 37-25 win over Fiji where two tries were scored by the dutch-born wing Tim Visser on his international debut- can only be promising! Further international debuts have been given to Tom Brown, Tom Ryder, Ryan Grant and Matt Scott all a mix of Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby up and coming players.
A further potential Scotland debut could be on the cards for the 22 year old Glasgow player, Rob Harley, who has been named on the bench. The line up sees three changes from the previous game, one being the replacement of John Barclay by Richie Vernon due to wedding planning for his wedding next month- must be a big doo. The Samoans are renowned for their physicality and are strong in set pieces.  Unfortunately, weather conditions are looking more hot and humid than wet and windy but if the Scots are strong and disciplined in their defence and accurate in their clear outs then it should make for a close contest.
Now it is time to get behind the boys because if they win tomorrow in Apia it will be only the second time that they have enjoyed a winning tour in the southern hemisphere! There is no TV coverage of the match but can be followed by Twitter updates from @Scotlandteam. And so here are the line ups:

Samoa: Faatonia Autagavaia; Paul Perez, Fautua Otto, Paul Williams, David Lemi (capt), Tusi Pisi, Kahn Fotualii; Sakaria Taulafo, Tii Paulo, Census Johnston, Faatiga Lemalu, Daniel Crichton, Benjamin Masoe, Maurie Faasavalu, K Thompson. Replacements: Wayne Ole Avei, Logovii Mulipola, Io Sefa Tekori, Afa Aiono, Jeremy Sua, Ki Anufe, Lolo Lui.
Scotland : Stuart Hogg; Sean Lamont, Nick De Luca, Matt Scott, Tim Visser; Greig Laidlaw, Chris Cusiter; Ryan Grant, Ross Ford (capt), Euan Murray, Al Kellock, Richie Gray, Al Strokosch, Ross Rennie, Richie Vernon. Replacements: Scott Lawson, Geoff Cross, Tom Ryder, Rob Harley, Mike Blair, Duncan Weir, Max Evans.
Mon the Scots!

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