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Scotland sweat on Toolis after World Cup warm-up win against Georgia

The lock suffered a worrying head injury near the end of Scotland’s 36-9 win on Friday.

Ali Price scores Scotland's first try.
Ali Price scores Scotland's first try.
Image: Graham Stuart

GREGOR TOWNSEND WAS left sweating on Ben Toolis’s fitness after the lock suffered a worrying head injury near the end of Scotland’s 36-9 win over Georgia on Friday.

The Scotland coach was hoping to see his team come through their World Cup send-off at Murrayfield unscathed.

But Toolis’s condition will now require assessing after referee Romain Poite was forced to halt play 15 minutes from time with the Edinburgh second-rower flat out on the ground.

The 27-year-old was taken for concussion tests but did not return and now faces an anxious wait to see whether he will be available for duty when the Scots launch their World Cup bid against Ireland in Japan on 22 September.

Tries from Ali Price, Blair Kinghorn, Sam Johnson, Darcy Graham, George Horne and his brother Peter saw the hosts round off their warm-up schedule with a third-straight victory.

But Townsend will know his team will have to sharpen up on their stuttering first-half display if they are to topple Joe Schmidt’s team in a fortnight.

scotland-v-georgia-international-friendly-bt-murrayfield Scotland's Blair Kinghorn (L) scores their second try. Source: Graham Stuart

The Scotland coach left out a number of his key men, deciding their health was too important to gamble with.

Skipper Stuart McInally, Fraser Brown, John Barclay, Greig Laidlaw, Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg were wrapped in cotton wool as the team ran out for the final time before departing for Japan on Monday.

Jonny Gray started his first warm-up clash as he returned from a hamstring strain.

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Scotland scored two first-half tries through Price and Kinghorn but Adam Hastings’ failure to convert either meant Georgia went in just a point behind at 10-9 at the break, courtesy of three Tedo Abzhandadze penalties.

Scotland reapplied the pressure after the break and struck again after 50 minutes through Johnson.

Toolis was helped from the field after a painful collision with three Georgian forwards but the remaining Scotland players refused to relent.

Graham produced an expert finish down the line after Duncan Taylor injected some speed into the attack with a looped pass out wide while the Horne brothers completed the rout late on with a pair of opportunistic scores.

scotland-v-georgia-international-friendly-bt-murrayfield Gregor Townsend addresses the home crowd. Source: Graham Stuart

“Thank you for your support tonight,” Townsend said in a message to the crowd. “It means a lot to us.

“We are very proud this group of men — we’ve worked hard for two months. We will give it our best effort.”

© – AFP, 2019

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