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Scotland beat Fiji with late burst

Visser scored two tries on his debut while flyhalf Laidlaw finished with a match haul of 22 points in the hot Fiji conditions.

Tim Visser: two-try hero.
Tim Visser: two-try hero.
Image: Chris Clark/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A LATE TRY from Dutch-born Tim Visser and a penalty by Greig Laidlaw saw Scotland defeat Fiji 37-25 today to remain unbeaten on their Southern Hemisphere tour.

Visser scored two tries on his debut while flyhalf Laidlaw, who scored all the points when Scotland defeated Australia 9-6 in heavy rain, finished with a match haul of 22 points in the hot Fiji conditions.

Scotland led 24-11 at half-time before Fiji made a gallant fightback to trail 25-27, with Laidlaw and Visser then putting the result beyond doubt.

“It was hard work and the conditions were not what we’re used to,” said Visser who added he was “very happy to get the two tries in my debut match and I couldn’t have hoped for more”.

Fiji, who lack the international exposure of top tier sides like Scotland, surprised the Six-Nations team with a strong opening and led 6-0 after two early penalties by Jonetai Ralulu. But as the speed and combinations of the Scots began to gel the tide turned with Laidlaw scoring and converting their first try to have the tourists up 7-6 and the Fijians never regained the lead.

Scotland extended the scoreline with a penalty try when Fiji collapsed a scrum as they were being marched back towards their own line. Fiji’s first try was the result of poor defence by the Scots which allowed Josefa Domolailai to burst his way to the line before Scotland responded with a Laidlaw penalty and Visser’s first try.

When Laidlaw extended the lead to 27-11 soon after the break with his second penalty, Fiji launched a strong fightback with Sevens stars Waisea Nayacalevu and Metuisela Talebula both scoring tries converted by Ralulu. When the gap reduced to two points Scotland captain Ross Ford said his side had had the experience to rally again.

“The match was very physical and the Fijians were in our faces but we knew how to deal with that kind of pressure,” he said. ”We stuck to our game plan and we played attacking rugby which was very good at the end.”

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Scotland play Samoa next week.

- © AFP, 2012

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