RWC 2019: Debrief as Scots get things back on track against Samoa

The pressure was on before this game and the Scotland team delivered in a 34-0 win in Japan.

At times they maybe forced things too much and looked a bit nervous, but when scrum-half Greig Laidlaw took control of things they looked far more structured in Kobe against Samoa.

They led 20-0 at the interval and the only job that was left in the second half was to make sure they got the bonus point for four tries.

It did take until the 74th minute for the fourth try to come in a messy second half, but it is job done and the Scots are back in the Pool A mix.

Jamie Ritchie came into the number seven jersey after recovering from a facial injury and he was superb at the breakdown area and was just pipped by second-row Jonny Gray for the man of the match award.

Alongside Ritchie, Magnus Bradbury and Blade Thomson were good in the back-row and now the squad can dust themselves off and prepare for Russia next week.

You would expect head coach Gregor Townsend to make numerous changes for that one on October 9 in preparation for the Japan match on October 13.

Assuming Scotland can get five points against Russia, then the clash with the hosts will be key when it comes to deciding who goes through to the knock-out stages.

Against Samoa, Scotland took the lead in the eighth minute when Laidlaw kicked a penalty to make it 3-0.

On the half hour mark, the Scots got their first try on the board when a superb crossfield kick by stand-off Finn Russell found winger Sean Maitland in acres of space on the left to catch and go over for five points. Laidlaw converted and it was 10-0.

Laidlaw added one of his own and full-back Stuart Hogg added a monster drop goal before the first half was over.

Two penalty tries – and two yellow cards equaling a red for Samoa’s winger Ed Fidow as a result – gave Scotland four tries and an all important bonus point in the second half.

Main photo by David Gibson/Fotosport

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