Dunbar scores in win over Samoa
Alex Dunbar added to his international try tally as Scotland opened their autumn series with victory in a pulsating match against Samoa.
The sell out 67,000 plus Murrayfield crowd was entertained to an eleven try feast as the silky south sea islanders mounted a determined second half fight back after trailing 25-10 at the interval.
But the six feet two inside centre from Johnstonebridge typified the Scots’ determination to give new coach Gregor Townsend the honours in his first home match in charge, by the sheer determination that ensured his touch down.
Samoa had smashed their way back from 22 points behind to just eight when they found themselves defending deep within their own 22. Scotland were on the front foot and ball fizzed along the back line to Dunbar.
He was immediately hit on either side by two massive defenders but somehow found the strength to muscle his way through and dive over to restore some respect to the lead.
It was the pinnacle of another fine performance from the 27-year-old who cut his rugby teeth coming through the ranks at Annan.
His defensive performance was immense and his ability to break tackles was once again in evidence.
But in the 15th minute it momentarily appeared that he might once again become victim of yet another injury, having only managed about ten minutes of match rugby after a six week lay off before Saturday.
His dummy run came to an abrupt end when Jack Lam appeared to have done a little more than just stand his ground, a forceful check sending Dunbar sprawling and the medical team springing in to action.
Australian referee Nic Berry and his team saw nothing wrong with the challenge, however, and luckily after a couple of minutes Dunbar was able to continue.
Scotland went on to win 44-38 but there were worrying defensive lapses, especially after the second half personnel changes were made. It was Dunbar’s 27th cap and his eighth try. Next up are world champions New Zealand on Saturday, kick off 5.15pm.
Over the line Alex Dunbar scores Scotland’s fifth try
Determined Dunbar barges past the big boys to score