TOMMY Seymour was in forgiving mood on Saturday night. And why not, considering the Scotland wing, having gone 18 months without a try for his country, was celebrating three of them, the country’s first Murrayfield hat-trick since Ally Hogg against Romania at the 2007 Rugby World Cup? In the interests of the harmony of the group, Seymour was prepared to gloss over the first-half mis-step where his clubmate (and Scotland roommate) Peter Horne inexplicably ignored a two-on-one overlap down the right, dummying only to find himself agonisingly held up on the line. While one suspects he may have been more energised about the incident if he hadn’t touched down in that same corner a couple of phases later, Seymour revealed that Horne had already begun to apologise for the error whilst on the ground at the proceeding ruck.

“I wasn’t cursing him at all,” said Seymour. “I was in that breakdown and Pete was on the floor. He’s the kind of character who is always overly critical of himself and he was already on the ground saying: “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” I was going: “Look, it’s fine”. When he broke through, I just thought he was going to back his pace and go over himself. But we scored a couple of phases later, so there was no loss in it. So I won’t be holding any grudges. He’s my room-mate, so it would be a bit of sour room if I did.”

Seymour would rather not go into the underlying reasons – on and off the field – which made 2017 so awkward for him. But wings who aren’t getting their tries are generally every bit as crabbit as strikers in football who don’t get on the scoresheet. No wonder he was delighted at snapping his barren streak in such spectacular fashion.

“I managed to score four for Glasgow against Leinster a couple of years ago,” he said. “But we won’t get too greedy, I’m pretty delighted with how things went. Since this time last year there have been a couple of things that have gone on that have made it quite a challenging year for me. But, after having a good pre-season with Glasgow and getting back involved with the national side, it’s been great. I hadn’t scored for a while for Scotland. Although you try not to focus on it, it’s something I was looking forward to doing again. So I’m delighted to score again and just pleased for the boys that we were able to put away a really dangerous Fiji side who could have caused us a lot of problems.”

What makes the Horne-Seymour mix-up more noteworthy is the fact it was pretty much the only occasion all day when the Scotland back division didn’t appear to be on the same page. There was a maturity to their decision-making, focusing on a game plan heavy on line-out drives in the first half, then running the ball in ruthlessly against tired Fijian legs in the second with 40 unanswered points.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised, considering the group from fly half Finn Russell through to full back Stuart Hogg which took to the field on Saturday can bring the experience of around 250 international matches to the party, not to mention an instinctive understanding for each other’s games from their time together at Glasgow Warriors. While Gregor Townsend’s next trick is to decide what role the freshness of someone like Adam Hastings might have to play by the time the World Cup ticks round, this experience is something few international sides can rival. It will definitely come in handy against a Springboks side on Saturday who will test Scotland’s forwards to the full.

Given the volume of opportunities it is little wonder that Seymour was making pretty healthy strides into the nation’s all-time lists this weekend. The hat-trick saw him climb to 19 tries, behind just Ian Smith, Tony Stanger and Chris Paterson. More importantly than that, however, he nosed back ahead of his team-mate Stuart Hogg.“He [Hogg] mentioned it in the changing room afterwards… that’s a bonus!” said Seymour. “It’s always nice getting one over on Hoggy because it’s probably the only one I’ve got! He’s got a few years on me, so I’m guessing he might be able to outdo me over the long run. But someone mentioned it and we had a friendly exchange in the changing room.”

The best that could be said about the now French-based orchestrator-in-chief Russell – back after missing the Wales match – was that it was as if he had never been away. “I told him after the game, ‘I’ve missed you, you wee rocket,’” said Horne. “There are times I come in screaming at him and he’ll just turn around laugh and say ‘Horney, just chill man, relax, it’s fine!’ Although I want to throttle him at the time it’s great, that kind of rubs off and it helps. He brings a real calmness around the whole back line.”

And what was Horne’s take on that spurned overlap? “It would have been rude to have scored four tries,” said Horne. “He’ll have to settle for three.”