Rugby: Bulldogs hot on heels of Scots; Bulldogs 28 Scotland 31.
SCOTLAND coach Jim Telfer refused to be too critical after his side scraped home 31-28 in their first South Africa tour match against Border Bulldogs.
Clearly relieved to see Craig Chalmers' last-gasp penalty clinch victory, the coach blamed rustiness for the disappointing display.
He said: "Border looked like a team that played regularly together. We didn't and we made a lot of unforced errors.
"The lineout was scrappy and I thought our scrummage was average. The players realise they didn't play particularly well."
Skipper Gary Armstrong said: "It was very frustrating. I can't fault the boys for effort but we have to be more clinical."
Telfer added: "Rugby is hard down here - very, very competitive. It's their national sport and I wish people would realise that.
"We just have to get our players believing in themselves and playing to their strengths."
The tourists started with a bang, skipper Gary Armstrong providing the lead with a well-taken try after just two minutes.
However host winger Paul de Jongh converted a penalty in the sixth minute after Scotland strayed offside - and struck a second effort wide just three minutes later.
Border then stunned the Scots with a controversial try midway through the half.
A long pass was floated out to the wing by stand-off Kobus van der Merwe and, during a scramble, de Jongh appeared to knock the ball on before crashing over in the corner.
Chalmers settled Scotland with a 35-metre penalty just 10 minutes before the break, then Northampton winger Craig Moir grabbed a debut try in the 34th minute.
Three minutes into injury-time of the first period, the Bulldogs grabbed another try but scorer de Jongh failed to convert.
The second half began with the visitors 15-13 ahead but, after nine minutes, Kaya Malotana dived over the Scottish line.
The tourists stepped up the pressure and Chalmers levelled the score with two close-range penalties, before Cammy Mathers grabbed a try.
But the Bulldogs roared back with a second try from Malotana and a conversion and penalty from sub Greg Miller.
Border full-back Miller fell just short with a penalty attempt but Chalmers made sure when Border infringed, stroking home his fourth penalty.
1990 Grand Slam try hero Tony Stanger has become the latest high-profile Scot to clinch a big-money deal in France.
The Edinburgh Reivers utility back is joining Elite A side Grenoble for two years - with the option of staying on for a further season.
Stanger, who has played for Scotland more that 50 times, expects the contract to be finalised within the next 24 hours.
The 31-year-old said: "I am making the switch for rugby reasons - I feel I still have a lot of challenges to go for in the sport.
"I didn't figure much in Scotland's plans last season but my aim is to be involved as long as possible at as high a level as possible."
Grenoble have qualified for the European Cup, having finished in the top six in the championship.
Former Stirling County and West of Scotland prop David Jamieson has been snapped up by French Elite 2 club Le Creusot-Montchainin.
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Jun 22, 1999|
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