Scots power past Georgia
MATCH REPORT: Scotland concluded their World Cup preparations with a 36-9 win over Georgia on Friday.
Gregor Townsend was left sweating on Ben Toolis’s fitness after the lock suffered a worrying head injury near the end of the win.
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 September 22.
Townsend said he was not sure about the extent of injuries to Jonny Gray, Toolis, Blair Kinghorn and Jamie Ritchie.
“We had two players with head injuries and they didn’t come back on, they’ll go through the normal concussion protocols,” he said.
“A couple of guys had tight hamstrings. Jamie Ritchie’s going to the hospital for a scan later tonight, so that’s five players in a match so there will be quite a lot to look at over the next few days.”
Tries from Ali Price, Kinghorn, Sam Johnson, Darcy Graham, George Horne and his brother Peter saw the Dark Blues 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.
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.
Gray started his first warm-up clash as he returned from a hamstring strain.
However, he did not reappear after the break and the hope for the anxious Scotland faithful will be that the giant lock was only ever scheduled to play 40 minutes.
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.
Tries: Price, Kinghorn, Johnson, Graham, G Horne, P Horne
Cons: Hastings, G Horne 2
Pens: Abzhandadze 3
Yellow card: Zurab Dzneladze (Georgia, 51)
Scotland: 15 Blair Kingholm, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Darcy Graham, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Jamie Richie, 6 Ryan Wilson (captain), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Grant Stewart, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 George Horne, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Chris Harris.
Georgia: 15 Soso Matiashvili, 14 Zurab Dzneladze, 13 Davit Katcharava, 12 Lasha Malaghuradze, 11 Mirian Modebadze, 10 Tedo Abzhandadze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Beka Gorgadze, 7 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 6 Shalva Sutiashvili, 5 Giorgi Nemsadze, 4 Kote Mikautadze, 3 Beka Gigashvili, 2 Shalva Mamukashvili, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili (captain)
Replacements: 16 Vano Karkadze, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Giorgi Melikidze, 19 Lasha Lomidze, 20 Beka Saghinadze, 21 Gela Aprasidze, 22 Tamaz Mtchedlidze, 23 Giorgi Kveseladze
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)