Marcus Di Rollo saved Scotland’s blushes with a late try to hand Hadden his first win as full-time Scotland coach in the Bank of Scotland Corporate autumn Test at Murrayfield.
Samoa opened the scoring through Alesana Tuilagi in the sixth minute but that was cancelled out by Allister Hogg’s effort midway through the half.
Chris Paterson and Roger Warren traded two penalties to leave the game in the balance at 11-11 before Di Rollo stormed over in the corner for his first try for Scotland.
It was a far from impressive performance from Hadden’s side but, on the back of the narrow defeat to Argentina last week, was a welcome victory for the new coach as he looks forward to the visit of imperious New Zealand.
Hadden, who confirmed Rory Lamont was only taken off as a precaution, said: “It was a very, very tough contest - Samoa played extremely well in patches.
“When they scored early in the game we realised it was going to be a tough afternoon. I felt we had opportunities to put them away during the game but again just didn’t take them.
“One of the good things about today was that they were incredibly physical in the contact area and it was great practice for next week.
“It’s a huge challenge for us next week and a fantastic opportunity for us to find out exactly where we are.
“We did a lot of gain-line crossing from first phase which we didn’t do last week and if we can do that against the All Blacks I’ll be delighted.
“Anybody who plays against the All Blacks needs everything to fall into place to beat them and we’re no different.”
Hadden admits Scotland are very much a work in progress and he expects work at the breakdown, discipline and finishing to improve.
: Tries: Hogg, Di Rollo. Cons: Paterson. Pens: Paterson 2.
: Paterson, R. Lamont, Di Rollo, Henderson, S. Lamont, Parks, Cusiter, Jacobsen, Lawson, Smith, Hamilton, Murray, White, Taylor, Hogg.
: Southwell for R. Lamont (47), Godman for Parks (60), Blair for Cusiter (60), Hall for Lawson (64), Kerr for Smith (47), Kellock for Hamilton (40), Brown for White (70).
: Tries: A. Tuilagi. Pens: Warren 2.
: Warren, Fa’atau, A. Tuilagi, Fuimaono-Sapolu, A. Tuilagi, Vili, Cowley, Va’a, Schwagler, Johnston, Leo, Faamatuainu, Sititi, Farani, Taina.
: Tafunai for Warren (75), Tagicakibau for Fa’atau (65), Collins for A. Tuilagi (65), Tauafao for Cowley (64), Lealamanu’a for Va’a (56), Lafaiali’i for Faamatuainu (40), Tupai for Taina (47).
: A Rolland (Ireland).