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Rugby World Cup: Scotland on the board as they hammer 14-man Samoa in Kobe



Sean Maitland scoring Scotland's first try of the tournament as they proved too good for Samoa in Kobe.

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Sean Maitland scoring Scotland's first try of the tournament as they proved too good for Samoa in Kobe.

Scotland revived their quarter-final hopes at the 2019 Rugby World Cup after hammering 14-man Samoa 34-0 to record their first victory of the tournament at Kobe's Misaki Stadium on Monday.

After an intriguing pool A was shaken up by hosts Japan's shock win over Ireland last Saturday, Scotland were slow out of the blocks in a game they had to win but a 20-point blitz in the final 10 minutes before half-time ignited their World Cup and winning the pool is now on the cards ahead of facing Russia and Japan.

Samoa left winger Ed Fidow became the third player of the tournament to be sent off after picking up two yellow cards in the second half. His second offence led to Scotland's second penalty try as he slid in dangerously with his knees attempting to prevent Sean Maitland from scoring.

Scotland were awarded a second penalty try after this Ed Fidow challenge on Sean Maitland.

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Scotland were awarded a second penalty try after this Ed Fidow challenge on Sean Maitland.

The All Blacks are all but certain to win Pool B after beating South Africa in their opener and the reigning champions will be keeping an eye on a tight Pool A as they will likely play the team which finishes second in the quarter-finals.

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Samoa's hopes of a third World Cup quarter-final appearance took a hit but they're not out of the picture yet after opening with a bonus-point win over Russia. Their destiny remains in their hands but it's a tough ask with their final pool games against Japan and Ireland.

Scotland were first demolished 27-3 by Ireland in one of the most underwhelming performances from any side in Japan, but they bounced back after adapting far better than an error-riden Samoan team in tough conditions.

The Scots also claimed a potentially crucial bonus point with a four-try victory that swings Pool A wide open at the halfway stage.

The heat and humidity under the roof in Kobe limited the intensity in the fourth World Cup meeting between the two nations (Samoa were previously Western Samoa) and it was the second game of the tournament to have water breaks in each half.

Samoan wing Ed Fidow getting his marching orders.

AP

Samoan wing Ed Fidow getting his marching orders.

Halfback Greg Laidlaw scored 26 of Scotland's points when they edged Samoa 36-33 in the pool stage of the 2015 World Cup in Newcastle, England.

Scotland's early pressure led to Laidlaw's first points via a penalty and they finally had their first try in Japan when former New Zealand Māori winger Maitland collected a pinpoint crossfield kick from first five-eighth Finn Russell in the 30th minute.

Laidlaw then extended Scotland's lead to 17-0 minutes later when breaking clear and bouncing off Samoan tacklers to score next to the posts. Fullback Stuart Hogg's monster drop goal added another three before half-time.

Samoa survived another onslaught from Scotland before the break and wasted some good attacking opportunities early in the second half.

Scotland punished them when a rolling maul crashed over Samoa's line and Fidow's illegal intervention led to a penalty try in the 57th minute and the Samoan winger was sinbinned.

Maitland was denied a double when going low to score in the left corner but Fidow was adjudged to have slid in dangerously and his second yellow meant red, so Samoa played the final five minutes with 14 men. A penalty try was awarded and Scotland had their bonus point.

Scotland halfback Greig Laidlaw scored his side's second try against Samoa.

AP

Scotland halfback Greig Laidlaw scored his side's second try against Samoa.

MORE TO COME

AT A GLANCE

Scotland 34 (Sean Maitland, Greg Laidlaw, 2 penalty tries; Laidlaw 2 con, pen, Stuart Hogg drop goal) Samoa 0. HT: 20-0.


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