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Watson says Scotland laid down autumn marker with Georgia win

Watson says Scotland laid down autumn marker with Georgia win

Watson says Scotland laid down autumn marker with Georgia win

Hamish Watson believes Scotland put down a benchmark for the month ahead after comfortably beating fellow Autumn Nations Cup competitors Georgia 48-7 in a warm-up game at BT Murrayfield.

Back-rower Watson produced a man-of-the-match performance and was one of three try scorers in the first half, along with Darcy Graham and first-time skipper Fraser Brown, as the Scots led 17-0 at the break.

Akaki Tabutsadze got a try that the committed Georgian performance deserved just after half-time as he caught scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze’s lofted pass and sprinted over, but Scotland then pulled away and finished strongly.

Second tries for Brown and Graham, in addition to scores from Stuart McInally, debutant Duhan van der Merwe and Blair Kinghorn pushed Gregor Townsend’s men close to the 50-point barrier.

Yet Watson claims there’s even more to come from his side as they face a final Six Nations match against Wales next weekend before taking on Italy, France and Fiji in Group B of the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup.

“It wasn’t perfect out there. We knew it would be tough to break down Georgia because they’ve got a good set-piece,” explained Watson. “We actually did pretty well to score three or four tries from our maul.

“I thought our scrum went really well – we’re really pleased with that but we butchered a few try-scoring chances, myself included, so it wasn’t perfect.

“We haven’t been together for a while but clicked from the off after two weeks of training. That’s really promising for our big game against Wales next week.

“Momentum is a massive thing and that will really help us. It will be a different test against Wales but they’ve got a game tomorrow [against France], so we’ll watch that and get ready for next week.”

Georgia will have taken some heart from their performance in Edinburgh, especially the first 50 minutes, as they were within ten points of the hosts heading into the final half-an-hour.

Although Scotland pulled away, this is all a learning curve for the Lelos, who will square off with England, Wales and Ireland in Group A when their Autumn Nations Cup campaign begins on November 14.

Meanwhile, Watson was just happy to shake off the rust after more than seven months since the last Scotland game – a 28-17 win over France.

“There’s a lot to work on but we started where we left off against France which was really promising,” added Watson.

“It was a convincing win in the end and shows our fitness is there despite not being together for seven or eight months.”

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