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Four-try Steyn matches Hastings to earn Player of the Match honours

Four-try Steyn matches Hastings to earn Player of the Match honours

Kyle Steyn

You have to go back to 1995 for the last time a Scotland player scored four tries in a match, but on just his second cap Kyle Steyn matched the feat of the great Gavin Hastings in a Player of the Match performance against Tonga.

The Glasgow Warriors winger has had to wait 18 months for his second taste of international rugby, but he made it count, wrapping a first-half hat-trick before notching a fourth try in the final play of a 60-14 Scotland win to open the Autumn Nations Series.

That was enough to match Hastings’ performance against the Ivory Coast at the 1995 World Cup, although Steyn was not on kicking duties so could not quite score the 44 points that the Scotland skipper managed that day.

Still, with the fans back at BT Murrayfield at last, and Scotland off to a flyer despite giving eight players their debut, Steyn was thrilled at the afternoon’s work.

He said: “It was really important, we’ve really missed fans for 18 months and we said during the week that pulling on the thistle gives you something extra and having a full Murrayfield, there is something about it that takes you to the next level and that’s what we saw today.

“It comes down to there being a lot of older boys, a lot of experience and all of them were absolutely buzzing for the new guys coming in. That and how happy you are for your mate to be out there with you, just brings that cohesiveness.”

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It was Steyn’s wing colleague Rufus McLean who caught the eye initially, crossing for the first two Scotland tries on an afternoon when they ran in ten in total.

Steyn got in on the act after a fine move off the back of a scrum, before adding another from first phase soon after.

His hat-trick score on the stroke of half-time was a beauty, started by a McLean break from his own 22 and finished by Steyn after a clever cross-kick into space from Blair Kinghorn.

And he finished it off in style when he burst through the midfield on 80 minutes, but despite his scoring spree, Steyn paid tribute to the efforts of his teammates.

He added: “A lot of it comes down to it sometimes being a good day to be a winger. Your mates do all the hard work and you get to dive over in the corner.”

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