|Autumn Test: Scotland v Fiji|
|Scotland (21) 54|
|Tries: Dell, Brown, Seymour (3), Maitland, Ritchie, Hastings Cons: Laidlaw 5, Russell 2|
|Fiji (17) 17|
|Tries: Mata, Radradra Cons: Volavola 2 Pens: Volavola|
Tommy Seymour scored a hat-trick of tries as Scotland weathered an early storm to blow Fiji away at Murrayfield.
Allan Dell, Fraser Brown and Seymour touched down as Scotland edged to a 17-14 lead at the interval.
Tries from Viliame Mata and Semi Radradra had Fiji in front briefly but they had no answer to the hosts’ composure, fitness and control.
Seymour plunged over twice in a second-half rout, with Sean Maitland, Jamie Ritchie and Adam Hastings also scoring.
Given what happened to them the last time they played Fiji – a bruising loss in Suva in the summer of 2017 – Scotland will have been glad to get this one out of the way. And with an amount of style in the end.
The longer it went on, the more Scotland powered away and the more Fiji suffered. The visitors’ ill-discipline cost them two yellow cards and a whole world of trouble. When their energy tanks started to empty, their pain only intensified.
Finn Russell, piling on the unpredictability and the class on his return, and Seymour exploding back into try-scoring form were some of the headlines, but there were others.
Ritchie was terrific in the back-row against Fiji’s man mountains. Sam Skinner, on his debut, was deeply impressive. Stuart Hogg’s first game back after injury was a reminder of what Scotland miss when he’s away.
It was a frenetic Test, a comfortable start for the home team, then a wobble, then a level of dominance that squeezed all the hope out of the Fijians.
The visitors took the lead with a Ben Volavola penalty, but Scotland quickly replied with a Dell try courtesy of patience and accuracy close to the line – features that were singularly absent in last weekend’s loss in Cardiff – and then a close-range shunt from Brown.
Even from the back of the stand you could hear Pete Horne’s sigh of relief when the hooker piled over. In the preamble, Horne had Seymour running free outside him close to Fiji’s 5m line and chose, in a rush of blood, to ignore him.
Captain Greig Laidlaw was good with both conversions and the Scots were ahead 14-3.
Just when things looked tidy for Scotland, it got messy. A miscommunication at a line-out gifted front foot ball to the visitors and when these lads are on the front foot and running into open country then it normally ends in a score.
Peceli Yato, the giant of Clermont, took it on and linked with Mata who drove on under the posts. Six minutes later, they were at it again. Leone Nakarawa burst through a ruck and when he got a touch lucky with his offload his team made the most of it.
Frank Lomani took Fiji into Scotland territory, Tevita Cavubati took Dell to the cleaners in support and found Radradra for the try. All of a sudden, Fiji had hit the front.
The rest? A constant blue wave. Cavubati saw yellow amid a Scottish siege, then Nakarawa went the same way. Seymour punished them before the end of the half after a beautiful skip pass from Russell, who then pored it on for the rest of the day.
Maitland struck just after the restart to put Fiji well and truly on the ropes and Seymour virtually knocked them out just before the hour after being slipped in by Laidlaw.
The scores kept coming. Seymour’s hat-trick score was a beauty, a counter-attack off a loose Fiji kick involving Horne, Russell and Chris Harris.
Scotland were rampant. Ritchie went over from close-range with two minutes left and Hastings, following more Russell excellence, took it beyond 50 points a few moments later. From a Test that looked tricky, it had long since become a stroll.
Scotland: 15-Hogg, 14-Seymour, 13-Dunbar, 12-P Horne, 11-Maitland, 10-Russell, 9-Laidlaw; 1-Dell, 2-Brown, 3-Nel, 4-Skinner, 5-Gilchrist, 6-Wilson, 7-Ritchie, 8-Fagerson
Replacements: 16-McInally (for Brown, 52 mins), 17-Allan (for Dell, 55 mins), 18-Berghan (for Nel, 55 mins), 19-J Gray (for Wilson, 61 mins), 20-Strauss (for Fagerson, 30 mins), 21-G Horne (for Laidlaw, 61 mins), 22-Hastings (for P Horne, 71 mins), 23-Harris (for Dunbar, 49 mins).
Fiji: 15-Tuicuvu, 14-Talebula, 13-Radradra, 12-Vatabua, 11-Goneva, 10-Volavola, 9-Lomani; 1-Maafu, 2-Matavesi, 3-Saulo, 4-Cavubati, 5-Nakarawa, 6-Waqaniburotu, 7-Yato, 8-Mata
Replacements: 16-Dolokoto (for Matavesi, 60 mins), 17-Mawi (for Maafu, 60 mins), 18-Tawake (for Saulo, 50 mins), 19-Tuisue (for Cavubati, 68 mins), 20-Kunatani (for Yato, 63 mins), 21-Seniloli (For Lomani, 61 mins), 22-Veitokani (for Talebula, 63 mins), 23-Vasiteri (for Tuicuvu, 24 mins).
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Touch judges: Luke Pearce and Karl Dickson (both England)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)