Kilmarnock - Scotland
absorbed the shock of conceding a fourth minute try to scrumhalf Vasil
Lobzhanidze before steamrollering Georgia with six tries of their own.
Fullback Stuart Hogg scored tries in both halves, while there were
also tries for wingers Tommy Seymour and Sean Maitland and flank
Hamish Watson, plus a penalty try as the Scots ran out convincing
winners on the plastic pitch that is home to Kilmarnock Football Club.
With scrumhalf and captain Grieg Laidlaw registering a perfect six
out of six place-kicking record (five conversions and a penalty),
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter enjoyed a comfortable victory against a
Georgia side coached by Milton Haig, his former playing and coaching
partner at Bay of Plenty in New Zealand.
For Cotter, who will move on to French Top-14 side Montpellier when
Gregor Townsend replaces him in June, it completed an encouraging
November series, following on from a 23-22 loss to Australia and a 19-16
win against Argentina.
For Haig and Georgia, following their 20-16 victory over Samoa in
Tblisi last week, the size of the defeat came as a blow to their
long-term ambitions of being added to an expanded Six Nations
It was from a line-out drive after four minutes that the Georgians
struck the first blow, Lobzhanidze scampering down the blindside to
score in the right corner.
Full-back Merab Kvirikashvili was off target with the conversion but
the sizeable contingent of Georgian supporters in the crowd had a 5-0
lead to celebrate.
Not that they were cheering for long. The only previous encounter
between the countries - a 15-6 win for Scotland in Invercargill at the
2011 World Cup - had failed to yield a try but there were two in the
opening eight minutes this time.
Hogg chipped a deftly-weighted kick into the left corner for Seymour
to touch down. Laidlaw's conversion furnished Scotland with a 7-5 lead
and they soon stretched the gap to nine points.
With 14 minutes gone Cotter had the satisfaction of watching his
forwards trundling the Georgian pack back to their own line, referee
Matt Carley awarding a penalty try and sending Montpellier lock
Konstantine Mikautadze to the sin bin for trying to pull down the
Laidlaw landed the conversion and then - after Kvirikashvili had
been successful with his first penalty attempt - the Scotland
scrumhalf fed in Maitland for the home team’s third try in the right
corner after 19 minutes.
Following an exchange of successful penalties by Laidlaw and
Kvirikashvili, the Scots had their fourth try on the board after 34
minutes: a dazzling solo effort by Hogg, who collected his own kick to
run in from 40 metres.
Laidlaw’s conversion gave Scotland a 31-11 lead at the interval and
they did not waste time getting back into their stride after the break,
Watson picking up from the back of a driven line out and darting over
for his first international try after 41 minutes.
After conversion number five for Laidlaw, however, Scotland took
their foot off the gas and conceded a second try after 53 minutes,
Lobzhanidze scoring after the Georgia pack drove their Scottish
counterparts back over their own tryline.
Scotland prop Moray Low was yellow carded for a scrum offence in the
73rd minute but, despite their numerical disadvantage, replacements Ali
Price and Rory Hughes combined to tee up Hogg for his second try after