Scotland score three tries to beat United States in Houston
Last Updated: 08/06/14 8:38am
Scotland handed new head coach Vern Cotter his first win since finally taking charge with a 24-6 triumph over the United States in Houston.
The visitors managed three tries at the BBVA Compass Stadium, one of them a penalty try, but could have scored more had their handling been better.
New Zealander Cotter, appointed last year but unable to take up the post due to his commitments with Clermont, will at least have been pleased to see his side dominate at the set-piece, while the only points they conceded were a pair of penalties from Chris Wyles.
Despite falling behind to an early Greig Laidlaw penalty, the home team showed threats with the ball and took a lot of confidence from a rumbling 40-yard charge from captain Todd Clever.
However, Scotland added to their lead when Laidlaw spotted a gap behind a ruck and his clean solo break gave Tim Visser, the wing making his return to Test rugby after recovering from a broken leg, an easy run in.
The conversion was also added, though further opportunities were squandered by the tourists before the break.
Visser spilled an easy chance to score a second following good work by Stuart Hogg and Duncan Taylor, plus
a final pass landed short of Laidlaw to allow Saracens full-back Wyles to clear to touch.
Scotland mauled and scrummed on the home line for almost five minutes at one stage before getting prop Olive Kilifi sin-binned for collapsing one scrum too many.
The USA soon did the same again, leading to them conceding a penalty try that Laidlaw converted.
Despite being a man short, the home side thought they had a try of their own when Clever powered his way to the line only to be penalised for a double movement.
The second half should have seen Scotland kick on, yet instead a combination of the intense heat and a plethora of handling errors denied them from piling on the points at the start of a busy summer schedule.
The Americans briefly cut into Scotland's lead with a second Wyles penalty, yet Hogg took the game out of their reach with a moment of class.
The British and Irish Lion claimed a high ball under pressure and then caught the USA by surprise as they all over-ran him, opening up enough space for the full-back to gallop away to the line from 50 yards out.
Laidlaw's touchline conversion rounded out the scoring as Cotter started out with a victory - he will hope to make it two wins from two when his troops face Canada next weekend. They then travelling on to Argentina and South Africa for further Tests in June.