Fixtures - Top Bar

Scotland 39 USA 16

New Aviva Premiership Rugby wingers Tim Visser and Sean Maitland sparked a second-half turnaround against a dogged USA as Scotland reclaimed Pool B’s top spot at the Rugby World Cup.

The USA opened up a seven-point lead at half-time through Saracens prop Titi Lamositele and the kicking of AJ MacGinty, but Visser and Maitland – summer signings for Harlequins and London Irish respectively – started to ease Scottish fears of an upset with tries early in the second half.

After those scores the spirited Americans finally let loose their grip on the game, with WP Nel and Matt Scott going on to secure the bonus point for Scotland.

Replacement Duncan Weir brought up the a fifth Scottish try in the last minute, though it was not all positive news as Grant Gilchrist and Finn Russell are injury worries ahead of the clash with South Africa next weekend.

The Springboks had responded to their shocking loss at the hands of Japan in Pool B by blowing away Samoa on Saturday – but the Scots would regain top spot with a win at Elland Road.

They had brought Japan crashing back down to earth with victory at Kingsholm on Wednesday – thanks in no small part to Greig Laidlaw’s 20 points – but the USA, the lowest ranked team in the group, made life difficult early on.

Ryan Grant was caught offside within two minutes and MacGinty made no mistake with the penalty, though Stuart Hogg wound up his boot from near halfway to level the scores after a collapsed scrum.

From there Scotland churned out some momentum and outside centre Mark Bennett, who scored a try-double against Japan, made a trademark searing break into the Americans’ 22.

The USA eventually infringed under the pressure and Russell booted the Scots ahead from the tee before Hogg erred from the tee with another long-range effort.

Scotland then lost lock Gilchrist to injury and it seemed to ruffle them as USA won ball from a line-out on the opposition 22.

And Philip Thiel busted the line with a bulldozing run and Lamositele nudged across the whitewash under a mass of bodies.

MacGinty converted and with confidence sky high, Seamus Kelly embarked on a bustling run that Scotland managed to snuff out at the breakdown.

The twinkle toes of Hogg then nearly put the Scots back in front and he did everything right but the final pass, feeding too low to a wide-open Visser who knocked on.

Scottish woes continued as Russell shanked a penalty, Takudzwa Ngwenya crunched Peter Horne amid a number of ferocious American tackles and MacGinty capitalised on an offside to extend his side’s lead to seven points by half-time.

But Vern Cotter’s men came racing out of the traps and after Josh Strauss punched a big hole, Hogg this time successfully released Visser on the left-hand line and the Harlequins winger brought up his tenth international try.

And by the 47th minute Scotland opened up clear daylight as Russell sniped through and offloaded to a supporting Maitland, who cantered over the whitewash.

Russell could only convert one from two but Strauss undid some of the good after he was penalised for being off his feet, and MacGinty cut the deficit to two.

But Tim Swinson hunted down replacement scrum-half Shalom Suniula upon the restart and though the Americans kept Strauss out from close range, Nel burrowed his way to the base of the post.

Russell left the game with an ankle injury on the hour though the bonus point wasn’t long in coming, replacement Laidlaw pulling the strings at the ruck and Scott picked an incisive angle before dotting down.

Nel stopped an American charge in its tracks after winning a penalty at the scrum before Weir added the gloss for the Scots at the death.
 

Latest News

Don Armand targeting big final push with Exeter Chiefs

Don Armand insists Exeter Chiefs will make the most of time off to ensure they are in fine fettle for…

Don Armand

RFU Disciplinary: Bryce Heem

Bryce Heem of Worcester Warriors will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel this evening charged with tackling the jumper in…

Gloucester Rugby respond to rumours regarding Carl Fearns

Gloucester Rugby have today responded to a story in the French press alleging that Carl Fearns will not be joining…

Kingsholm

Chew Valley champing at the bit for Twickenham outing following Bath Rugby’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup

Lewis Kenyon and his Chew Valley U12s team were left grinning from ear to ear after securing a spot as part…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Weekend Round-up

Christian Wade made the difference, according to director of rugby Dai Young, as Wasps booked their place in the Aviva…

Match Reaction: Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has urged improvement from his side after they were given a scare by Worcester Warriors on…

Match Reaction: Saracens 53 Bath Rugby 10

Brad Barritt believes Saracens’ desire not to take their foot off the pedal proved the decisive factor as an eight-try…

Mark Bennett appointed RFU Head of Sport Science and Medicine

Mark Bennett is to join the Rugby Football Union (RFU) as Head of Sports Science and Medicine. Taking up the…

Match Report: Saracens 53 Bath Rugby 10

Chris Ashton scored twice to become the record scorer at Allianz Park as Saracens enjoyed a fruitful afternoon to keep…

Match Report: Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

Wasps extended their advantage at the top of Aviva Premiership Rugby with a hard-fought victory over Worcester Warriors in an…

Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 30 Sale Sharks 25

His side may have gone level on points with Wasps atop the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, but Exeter Chiefs coach…