Scotland earn solid bonus point win over America

Matt Scott scores a try for Scotland

Scotland earned a solid five try 39-16 Rugby World Cup victory over the United States of America at Elland Road on Sunday.

Scotland made a slow start to the match and were trailing 6-13 at half time before putting in a fantastic second half where they outscored the USA 33-3.

Scotland had a short four day turnaround for this match after they beat Japan and made nine changes for the match.

Scotland will however be concerned about flyhalf Finn Russell who twisted his ankle and had to be helped from the field.

The result sets up a mouthwatering victory between Scotland and South Africa in Newcastle.

New Zealand born Scotland winger Sean Maitland scored the 100th try of the Rugby World Cup in the match.

Maitland was one of three three foreign-born players to score tries for the victors, Dutch wing Tim Visser and South African prop WP Nel being the others.

Centre Matt Scott and Duncan Weir also got tries as Scotland grabbed their second successive bonus point win to move on to 10 points. They are three clear of South Africa who they play in Newcastle next Saturday.

All the tries came in the second-half after the Americans had led at half-time.

AJ MacGinty gave the Americans a good start with a penalty in the third minute but an infringement by Titi Lamositele allowed fullback Stuart Hogg to level in the seventh minute.

Scottish fly-half Finn Russell — impressive in the win over Japan where he marked his 23rd birthday with a try — put the Scots into a 6-3 lead on 10 minutes with a penalty.

Hogg missed with another penalty attempt and within minutes the Americans had stormed down the pitch. From a well worked passing move from a lineout Lamositele burrowed over — MacGinty adding the conversion for 10-6.

Scotland blew a chance to score a try of their own as Hogg ruined a blistering solo run. He sent a poor pass to the wide open Visser, prompting coach Vern Cotter to turn away from the pitch in frustration.

Scotland were slightly off their game as Russell went wide with another penalty attempt and a succession of earth-shattering tackles by the Americans — one by Seamus Kelly and another by Takudzwa Ngwenya — had the Scots rattled further.

The Americans ended the half firmly in control as an impressive 15 phase move provoked the Scots into an infringement. MacGinty slotted the penalty over for a 13-6 lead at the break.

Cotter must have given a dressing down at the break for the Scots immediately hit back. Hogg’s pass this time to Visser was inch perfect and the wing ran it in for a try — the 99th in the tournament.

Russell missed the conversion to leave the USA still 13-11 to the good.

The century of tries came when a well-worked move by the Scots ended with Russell feeding Maitland who thundered over — Russell adding the extras for 18-13.

MacGinty took the States to within two points with a penalty. But only a stunning tackle by Shalom Suniula on Tim Swinson yards from the line prevented a third Scottish try.

However, there was no stopping the Scots’ surge and Nel was next to get a pat on the head from his team-mates for their third try meaning the USA have now conceded 6,000 points in test match rugby since 1912.

Greig Laidlaw, who replaced scrum-half and captain for the day Henry Pyrgos, converted for 25-16.

There were nervous faces though in the Scottish coaching gantry when Russell was removed from the action with what seemed to be a foot injury.

It did not stop the Scottish juggernaut, however, and Scott went over, to ensure the bonus point, with Greig Laidlaw adding the conversion for 32-16.

Laidlaw made no mistake with his final conversion of the day either after Duncan Weir celebrated his first World Cup appearance with a try at the death.

Final Score Scotland 39 (6) United States of America 16 (13)

Scorers

Scotland
Tries – Visser, Maitland, Nel, Scott, Weir
Pen – Russell, Laidlaw (3)
Con – Hogg, Russell
Drop –

United States of America
Tries – Lamositele
Pen – MacGinty (3)
Con – MacGinty
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: Chris Pollock (NZL)

Teams

Scotland

Stuart Hogg; Sean Maitland, Mark Bennett, Peter Horne, Tim Visser; Finn Russell, Henry Pyrgos (capt); Josh Strauss, Ryan Wilson, Alasdair Strokosch; Grant Gilchrist, Richie Gray; Jon Welsh, Fraser Brown, Ryan Grant

Replacements: Kevin Bryce, Alasdair Dickinson, Willem Nel, Tim Swinson, Fraser Brown, Greig Laidlaw, Duncan Weir, Matt Scott

United States

Chris Wyles (capt); Takudzwa Ngwenya, Seamus Kelly, Thretton Palamo, Blaine Scully; AJ MacGinty, Mike Petri; Samu Manoa, Andrew Durutalo, Al McFarland; Greg Peterson, Hayden Smith; Titi Lamositele, Phil Thiel, Eric Fry.

Replacements: Zach Fenoglio, Olive Kilifi, Chris Baumann, Cameron Dolan, John Quill, Danny Barrett, Shalom Suniula, Folau Niua.

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