Scotland v Tonga reaction: Kyle Steyn ‘humbled’ by historic achievement

Winger has become the first Scotland player ever to score four tries in a single Test match at Murrayfield

Kyle Steyn wrote his own chapter in Scottish rugby history with four tries against Tonga at Murrayfield ysterday. Image: © Craig Watson -
Kyle Steyn wrote his own chapter in Scottish rugby history with four tries against Tonga at Murrayfield ysterday. Image: © Craig Watson -

KYLE STEYN said he felt humbled by having become the first ever Scotland player to score four tries at Murrayfield in the 96 years since the famous stadium became the national team’s home ground.

The last Scot to cross the whitewash that many times in a single match was Gavin Hastings against Ivory Coast at the 1995 World Cup. Before that, the last Scot to do it on home soil was the great Ian Smith against France in 1925, but that was at Inverleith in the last match before the team moved into its now iconic home.

“That’s incredibly special, Scottish rugby is steeped in so much history so to have even a tiny part in that history is pretty humbling,” said the winger, who scored hat-trick inside a 16 minute window at the end of the first half of Scotland’s 60-14 demolition of Tonga yesterday, then put the icing on the cake when he collected an inside ball from club-mate Ross Thompson – who was making his debut off the bench – and streaked under the posts to take his tally up to four for the afternoon.

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“I had no idea [that no Scotland player had scored four tries at Murrayfield in a single match before] but, to be honest, you just get those days. Three of those tries were off set-piece plays where I got to dive over in the corner, and then for the other one, Blair Kinghorn puts in a cross-kick – he made me work a little bit for it, I couldn’t get to it on the full.”

“I’m absolutely buzzing, I can’t really put it into words, Gregor [Townsend] said before the game that it had been 600 days since we had crowds in and I was like, ‘shit that means it’s 600 days since I last played for Scotland’,” added the 27-year-old, who made his international debut off the bench for the final seven minutes of Scotland’s Six Nations win over France in early March 2020, which was the last game before Covid.

He then had 14 months out with serious injury, before being left frustrated when Scotland’s 2021 summer schedule was derailed by a Covid outbreak in the camp.

“I tore my hamstring,” he recalled. “At one stage I thought someone didn’t want me to get a second cap. I was due to play Wales after France and that got canned the day before. Then we were lining up for the summer, with two opportunities there plus the A game, and we all know the story there.

“I was like, ‘someone has it in for all of us, maybe I’ll just stay on one and that will be me!’


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Steyn had words for praise for his club mate Rufus McLean, who was making his debut on the opposite wing, got the ball rolling for Scotland with two well-taken tries during the first 15 minutes, and was a real handful throughout the match.

“We keep saying, ‘you know what he’s going to do, but because he’s so fast, it’s so difficult to defend’,” said Steyn. “I thought all of the debutants were brilliant which was awesome to see.”

“Days like this, you want them to come round for so long, then they’re over in a flash, so I’ve just been trying to soak it in and enjoy it with the boys in the changing room,” he added. ” I’ve had a look at my phone and I can see all my family groups on WhatsApp are going mad. I’ll have time on the bus and then once I get home to just reflect and go through everybody’s messages.

“I suppose I’m pretty chuffed. When you get an opportunity you always hope that you get to put your best foot forward. We’ll just wait and see what happens next week now.”

Scotland play Australia in the second of their four Autumn Tests at Murrayfield next Sunday. Stuart Hogg and Duhan van der Merwe, who both missed this match flu to it being played outside the international window, will come back into contention for back-three slots in that game.

Scotland v Tonga: Kyle Steyn stars as hosts launch Autumn series with big win

About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. I’m not sure how valuable this runout was against a scratch Tonga side, or that there really will be many selection dilemmas as a consequence. The wingers stole the show, but there were some solid enough performances elsewhere and the runout won’t have done Watson any harm. Still not convinced by Kinghorn at 10, or Graham at 15, but needs must in the cirumstances. Thomson and Dobie managed to make me feel very, very old.
    I could see Steyn keeping his place in the squad more for his experience in covering different positions, but can’t see McLean displacing Van Der Merwe and would expect Graham to return to the other wing. Hogg will be back too, but will he be captain? Australia have been playing well and, most importantly, recently, so they’re a very different prospect and I expect the team will reflect that and offer few surprises.

  2. Firstly Steyn has a Scottish mum.

    Ive long since thought Steyn may be a 1st XV starter but he’s been very unlucky with injuries.

    He’s got physicality pace and heart, good hands and a good defence.

    Still got an inkling that 13 is his best position

    • I see that’s his position on the Glasgow squad list and thought he had a good partnership with McDowall before injury and possibly returning international squad members broke it. I was impressed by his Scottish debut, as he struck me as an intelligent player and he obviously made his mark against Topnga. I hope he gets plenty more opportunities for Scotland.


    Lets get excited when Scottish players developed in Scotland become try scorers.

      • I bet he doesn’t. A posted called hereford, can’t be a scot with a sign in name like that surely? Of course he can but it shows the silly petty double standards.

      • Rubbish. Tell me what the point is in investing in youth rugby in this country when we bypass talented players coming through our pathways systems and fly over guys from South Africa who decide to play for Scotland when it’s clear they won’t get picked for the Boks.
        It’s a constant slap in the face for the hard work put in by players and coaches in this country only to see Scots born players over-looked.
        If people want Scotland to be a Baa Baas team then I guess that’s their choice.
        And yes – great to see Rufus taking his chance who although born abroad, has at least come through the system.


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