Scotland A Win Irb Nations Cup

Scotland A Win Irb Nations Cup

Scotland A 22 France A 12 Scotland A lifted the IRB Nations Cup on a sultry night in Bucharest and launched the Andy Robinson era as national coach in the best possible way – with a well constructed victory over France A.  It was the Scots’ fifth win against the French at this level in 12 meetings.Stand-off Ruaridh Jackson landed five fine penalties from seven attempts and converted a glorious try by his long-striding Glasgow Warriors team-mate Richie Vernon as the Scots built on their 12-3 half-time lead.Scotland A captain Chris Cusiter said: We prepared for a few days for this and the win was the only thing that was going to be acceptable.  There have been a lot of guys who are coming up through the ranks who have put their hands up.The Scots went into the match having won their two previous encounters against Russia and Uruguay.  The French were also undefeated having accounted for Italy A and hosts Romania. Buoyed by the fact that the hosts had played (and lost) to Italy A in the previous match, there was a crowd of around 3,000 in the compact stadium as the floodlights were switched on and the teams lined up for the anthems.  Scotland A kicked off through Jackson and there was a promising thrust from Richie Vernon.  In the aftermath of the opening scrum, France were penalised and from just outside the 22m, ten metres from the right touchline, Ruaridh Jackson struck a sweet penalty. (Scotland A 3 France A 0, 2 mins).The Scots tried to get their driving maul going and though they made some inroads the French were quick through to scrag Chris Cusiter on two occasions.Still in the opening ten minutes Scotland’s discipline was better than the French.  From the fourth penalty awarded to the Scots – touch judge Guilio de Santis flagging for an obstruction on Simon Webster by Yoann Huget after the Scots had pinched a turnover – Jackson made it two out of two, again from adjacent to the 22, but this time on the left. (Scotland A 6 France A 0, 11 mins).France A were waxing strong in the scrum and appeared to have a nudge on a Scotland A put-in.  However the referee adjudged the French were guilty of a misdemeanour and Jackson kicked the goal anew. (Scotland A 9 France A 0, 19 mins).The referee decided to continue with water breaks that have been a feature of the tournament and, suitably refreshed, Scotland A launched a stunning attack from the restart.  Jackson fired a lovely right to left pass to the intruding Jim Thompson.  The full-back eluded one tackle and then chipped ahead, his kick finding touch inside the French 22.  However Scotland A conceded a free-kick at the lineout and the French cleared. Another scrum penalty, this time against Scotland A, enabled the French to find touch near Scotland A’s 22. From there Steve Malonga’s lineout provison and Julien Tomas’ threat on the snipe set up a penalty chance for the French as Scotland A went off their feet at the breakdown. Fabrice Estebanez gave the French their first points (Scotland A 9 France A 3, 24 mins).John Houston then put his mark on the game.  Defending stoutly as France A threatened to counter from Florian Denos’ break, Houston then cut a swathe through the France A frontline defence and when Cusiter was grabbed illegally at breakdown, Jackson stepped up to have another pop at goal.  This time, however, he was short.Just before the interval and with Ben Cairns and Jackson in unison, the French again got to Cusiter just too quickly at a ruck.  Another penalty to Scotland A and Jackson collected the points as he made it four out of five attempts (Scotland A 12 France A 3, 39 mins).Half-time: Scotland A 12 France A 3Five minutes after the restart and Scotland A extended their lead.  Vernon’s sharp scrum pick-up and Lawson’s burrow forward enabled the attack to be switched to the left.  Jackson was tackled but France A infringed at the breakdown – much to the displeasure of referee Doyle.  He sin-binned France A hooker Jean-Phillipe Genevois and Jackson added the points (Scotland A 15 France A 3, 45 mins).Despite being a man short, France A then upped the pace and two penalties by Estebanez and the introdcution of some of their forward subs saw them very much back in the game (Scotland A 15 France A 9, 56 mins).France A continued to attack and from around 35 metres, with the referee playing advantage, stand-off Regis Lespinas nailed a fine drop-goal (Scotland A 15 France A 12, 59 mins).Andrew Kelly and Moray Low were on now as front-row substitutes for Scott Lawson and Geoff Cross, as Jim Thomson failed with a long-range penalty attempt after the one hour water break. Nic De Luca joined the fray too as Alex Grove’s shift was ended.Around 10 minutes to go and James Eddie replaced Craig Hamilton.  Scotland A were awarded a penalty on half-way and from a well-worked lineout Alan MacDonald retrieved over the top ball to unleash Chris Cusiter at pace on the inside break.  From the ruck Scotland swept left and Cairns’ pass was wonderfully timed for Richie Vernon to hit a perfect line and gallop in for a cracking try.  Jackson converted. (Scotland A 22 France A 12, 72 mins)Jackson was just short with a penalty attempt from half-way after a French scrum offence when they had kicked the restart out on the full.Injury time loomed and De Luca had to make a tremendous tackle on half way as French substitute scrum-half Julien Audy escaped menacingly down the blind-side.Full-time: Scotland A 22 France A 12IRB Nations CupArcul de Triumf Stadium, BucharestScotland A: Jim Thompson; John Houston, Ben Cairns (all Edinburgh), Alex Grove (Worcester Warriors), Simon Webster (Edinburgh); Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Cusiter (Perpignan) captain; Kyle Traynor (Edinburgh), Scott Lawson (Gloucester), Geoff Cross, Craig Hamilton (both Edinburgh), Alastair Kellock, Kelly Brown, Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors), Alan MacDonald (Edinburgh).Subs used: Andrew Kelly (Edinburgh), Moray Low, James Eddie (both Glasgow Warriors), Nic De Luca (Edinburgh). Unused: Calum Forrester (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Lawson (Gloucester) and David Blair (Edinburgh).France A: Florian Denos; Yoann Huget, Lionel Mazras, Fabrice Estebanez, Remy Grosso; Regis Lespinas, Julien Tomas captain; Aretz Iguiniz, Jean-Phillipe Genevois, Luc Ducalon, Yoann Maestri, Aliki Fakate, Ibrahim Diarra, Raphael Lakafia, Steve Malonga. Subs (all used): Brice Mach, Yannick Forestier, Guillaume Villaceca, Marc Baget, Julien Audy, Louis Madaule, Romain SolaReferee: JP Doyle (England) 

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