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Rugby: McGeechan is delighted by tour success; SCOTLAND.

SCOTLAND coach Ian McGeechan has declared his side's North American tour a success after Saturday's 65-23 thumping of the USA in San Francisco. A week after an embarrassing loss to Canada, the Scots ran in 10 tries to two and were quite simply on a different level.

Scotland even played the entire second half with 14 men after lock Nathan Hines was red-carded for punching Dan Anderson.

``To play like that with 14 men is a massive performance,'' said McGeechan. ``Everybody stepped up, they knew they were going to have to work for themselves and another fifteenth as well.

``The tour was all about bringing players through and doing things with them on tour that you don't get the opportunity to do with them back home.

``We need tours like this. And you think of the age of the midweek team that played and what that has achieved and that for me is almost as big a step forward as anything.''

The Eagles stunned the tourists early on when winger Mose Timoteo dashed in for a try which was converted by Link Wilfley for a 7-0 lead.

Scotland hit back in the 12th minute when Brendan Laney touched down under the posts and he converted his own try.

Laney put the Scots ahead four minutes later with a penalty and winger Rory Kerr added another try in the corner five minutes later.

Wilfley gave the Eagles some hope with a penalty but the Scots took control in the 29th minute when Hines barged his way over beside the posts, Laney converting to push the Scots out to a 2210 lead.

And just before half-time, Duncan Hodge cantered in from just a few metres out to score Scotland's fourth try.

In injury time, however, Hines saw red after punching Anderson, who had just come on as a substitute for flanker Aaron Satchwell. Wilfley successfully kicked the penalty to make the half-time score 29-13 to Scotland, who would play the rest of the match with 14 men.

However, the disadvantage did not appear to hurt the tourists who were in again for their fifth try when Chris Paterson was on the end of some enterprising play.

After 55 minutes Scotland scored a gift try when replacement back Andrew Henderson caught an attempted grubber kick by Wilfley from the restart and sidestepped a defender to dot down under the posts. Laney converted to make the score 41-16.

Hodge shot in for his second try when he kicked through a loose ball and outsprinted the American cover. Laney again converted to make the score 48-16.

Scots centre Andrew Craig scored his first Test try and Paterson and Jason White added further tries before Jason Keyter grabbed a consolation try for the Eagles.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUS
Date:Jun 24, 2002
Words:458
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