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Rugby: Scotland finish strongly to beat Georgia 36-9 in World Cup warm-up

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By Reuters
Rugby: Scotland finish strongly to beat Georgia 36-9 in World Cup warm-up
Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup warm-up match - Scotland v Georgia - BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Britain - September 6, 2019 Scotland team huddle at the end of the match Action Images via Reuters/Molly Darlington   -   Copyright  STRINGER(Reuters)

EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Scotland completed their Rugby World Cup campaign with a second successive victory over Georgia on Friday but found things tougher going this week before a late surge secured a somewhat flattering 36-9 victory at Murrayfield.

Scotland won 44-10 in Tbilisi but struggled to impose themselves in an error-strewn first half on Friday as they led 10-9 at the break after tries for Ali Price and Blair Kinghorn against three Tedo Abzhandadze penalties.

The Scots were in control in the second half, however, and added further tries through Sam Johnson, Darcy Graham, and brothers George and Pete Horne.

As with their previous three warm-ups, the Scots played well in parts but struggled to sustain it and coach Gregor Townsend may still have quite a few World Cup selections yet to be settled in his mind.

“This week we weren’t as accurate and they had more opportunities to show what they could do,” he told the BBC.

“They showed a more varied game today. It was pleasing that we did put things right later on in the game and finishing with a couple of tries made it a nicer win than it probably was.”

Less satisfying were a number of injuries – with Jonny Gray, Ben Toolis, Kinghorn, Jamie Ritchie and Blade Thomson all suffering.

“We had two players with head injuries and they didn’t come back on, they’ll go through the normal concussion protocols,” Townsend 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.”

Scotland have a tough start to their World Cup campaign as they face Pool A favourites Ireland in their opening game.

Georgia open up against Wales in Pool D, which also contains Australia.

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ken Ferris)