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2019 Rugby World Cup: Scotland claim crucial win over Samoa



Scotland got two penalty tries and Samoa winger Ed Fidow got a red card to give them both a pressure-relieving 34-0 win for the Scots at the Rugby World Cup.

Fidow collapsed a maul for his first yellow card, and slid in first knees to stop Sean Maitland scoring for his second sin-bin offensive tackle with five minutes to go. The two yellows added up to keep Samoa's terrible disciplinary record going to the World Cup. They had two yellows in their first game, and Fidow was also warned after that punching game, though he didn't get punished during it.

Scotland's chances of making the quarter-finals would have been left hanging by a thread if it had slipped to another straight loss in Pool A. It's still by no means certain but it's better than where it was after a 27-3 walloping by Ireland. to open the World Cup.

First-half tries by Maitland wing and scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw, and a dropped goal from fullback Stuart Hogg put Scotland out of sight of Samoa at Kobe Misaki Stadium. Hogg launched his drop from near the halfway and out wide on the left wing for a 20-0 halftime lead.

Scotland's Sean Maitland scores a try against Samoa. Photo / AP
Scotland's Sean Maitland scores a try against Samoa. Photo / AP

Scotland's two penalty tries came in the second half as they bounced back resoundingly from the walloping Ireland.

Both teams dropped the ball consistently for the first half hour on a sweaty night at Kobe Misaki Stadium, where the closed roof exacerbated the humid, slippery conditions.

But Maitland did catch a cross-kick from flyhalf Finn Russell on the left to get the Scots going and they kept their winning run up against Samoa at the Rugby World Cup. The Scots have won all four meetings now.

The Samoans, who lost two players to dangerous tackles after those yellow cards against Russia, lost in two tries against Scotland to poor tackles, and the other two to poor discipline.

After catching Russell's pinpoint cross-kick, Maitland slipped out of a Belgium Tuatagaloa effort to scamper over the line in the 30th minute. Russell set up the second, too, breaking the first line of defense and finding flanker Jamie Ritchie in support. Ritchie fed Laidlaw, who bounced out of Tim Nanai-Williams' attempted tackle and scampered away.

Hogg landed the dropped goal from about 50 meters out – amazingly Scotland's first in a Test for more than five years.

Samoa was given its first double-whammy in the 57th when Scotland earned a penalty try and Fidow had his first yellow for collapsing on a maul that was heading for the tryline.

The fourth bonus-point try appeared to be eluding Scotland until Maitland made a late break down the left. Fidow's cross-covering was good, but his tackle technique wasn't. As Maitland slid for the line, Fidow went in first knees, hitting Maitland hard enough to loosen his grip on the ball, giving away a penalty try and seeing Fidow sent off the field for his second yellow card.

Scotland 34 (Sean Maitland, Greig Laidlaw tries; 2 penalty tries; Laidlaw 2 conversions, penalty, Stuart Hogg dropped goal)
Samoa 0
HT: 20-0


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