By Iain Morrison at Pittodrie
28 November 2010. Nobody said that supporting Scotland was meant to be easy. After the heroics of last weekend against the World Cup holders the Scots struggled to subdue an island nation with the similar size of population to that of Dundee and they left it horribly late to do so.
At least the Scots got that all-important win after slipping up in the corresponding fixture against Argentina last year. Under Andy Robinson this squad has now won seven from 13 starts and five from the last six outings; please do not adjust your eyes.
Cometh the hour cometh the man, only this time Scotland’s go-to guy Dan Parks was a spectator in the stands, replaced by one of Aberdeen’s favourite sons Ruaridh Jackson who learned his trade just a few short miles from Pittodrie at Robert Gordon’s College.
In only his second-ever Test match, the reserve fly-half showed a Buddha-like serenity when stepping up to strike the winning penalty from wide on the right side of the field with what proved to be the very last act of the match. The partisan crowd erupted but it was as much with relief as anything else.
This was an ugly, featureless game without much shape or anything else to trouble the memory, the sporting equivalent of cold porridge that probably deserved to end as the 16-16 draw it so long promised to finish.
Scotland: H Southwell (Stade Français); N Walker (Ospreys), J Ansbro (Northampton), G Morrison (Glasgow), S Lamont (Scarlets); D Parks (Cardiff Blues), R Lawson (capt, Gloucester); A Jacobsen, R Ford (both Edinburgh), E Murray (Northampton), N Hines (Leinster), R Gray (Glasgow), K Brown (Saracens), J Barclay, R Vernon (both Glasgow). Replacements M Blair (Edinburgh) for Lawson, 56; M Low (Glasgow) for Murray, 59; J Hamilton (Gloucester) for Gray, 59; R Jackson (Glasgow) for Parks, 59; M Evans (Glasgow) for Ansbro, 59; D Hall (Glasgow) for Ford, 74; R Rennie (Edinburgh) for Vernon, 74.
Samoa. P Williams (Sale); D Lemi (Wasps), G Pisi (Taranaki), S Mapusua (London Irish), A Tuilagi (Leicester); T Lavea (Clermont Auvergne), K Fotualii (Hawke’s Bay); S Taulafo (Wasps), M Schwalger (capt, Taranaki), C Johnston (Toulouse), F Levi (Newcastle), K Thompson (Southland), O Trevarinus (Apia West), M Salavea (Narbonne), G Stowers (London Irish). Replacements T Paulo (Clermont Auvergne) for Schwalger, 61; A Perenise (Hawke’s Bay) for Johnston, 61; I Tekori (Castres) for Thompson, 61; A Aiono (Apia West) for Treviranus, 66; D Leo (Begles-Bordeaux) for Salavea, 75.
Referee S Walsh (Australia).