Russell exile ends with Scottish rout
MATCH REPORT: Scotland overpowered Georgia 48-7 as Finn Russell’s Test exile came to an end at Murrayfield on Friday.
The Scots ran in eight tries as they warmed-up for their coronavirus-delayed Six Nations finale away to Wales in Llanelli next week with a comfortable victory.
Flyhalf Russell came off the bench for his first international since last year’s World Cup with 25 minutes left and immediately gave Scotland’s attack a fresh cutting edge with his crisp passing.
Fellow stand-off Adam Hastings stayed on the field during a match where he landed just four conversions.
Scotland captain Fraser Brown and wing Darcy Graham scored two tries apiece.
Hamish Watson, Stuart McInally, and debutant wing Duhan Van der Merwe also crossed Georgia’s line before fullback Blair Kinghorn completed the rout late on.
Georgia wing Akaki Tabutsadze went over early in the second half for a converted try.
Georgia, often starved of matches against leading nations outside of World Cups, can now look forward to fixtures against England, Wales and Ireland next month as part of the new year-end Nations Cup, which replaces the traditional international Test window during the pandemic.
Russell, a member of the Racing 92 side beaten in last week’s European Champions Cup final by Exeter, did not feature during this year’s Six Nations before it was halted by the coronavirus outbreak after he breached team discipline by going for a late night drink ahead of Scotland’s opener with Ireland.
He later gave a newspaper interview in which he detailed the breakdown of his relationship with Scotland coach Gregor Townsend but the pair have now resolved their differences.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) October 23, 2020
Tries: D Graham 2, Brown 2, Watson, McInally, Van der Merwe, Kinghorn
Cons: Hastings 4
Scotland: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Chris Harris, 12 James Lang, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Rory Sutherland.
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Rob Harley, 20 Nick Haining, 21 Cornell du Preez, 22 George Horne, 23 Finn Russell.
Georgia: 15 Soso Matiashvili, 14 Akaki Tabutsadze, 13 Deme Tapladze, 12 Merab Sharikadze (captain), 11 Sandro Todua, 10 Tedo Abzhandadze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Beka Gorgadze, 7 Beka Saghinadze, 6 Otar Giorgadze, 5 Grigol Kerdikoshvili, 4 Nodar Cheishvili, 3 Lexo Kaulashvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Giorgi Melikidze, 19 Giorgi Javakhia, 20 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 21 Gela APrasidze, 22 Giorgi Kveseladze, 23 Tamaz Mchedlidze.
Referee: Alex Ruiz (France)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
TMO: Marius Mitrea (Italy)