We were breaking the line and making opportunities but we were not clinical enough to finish any of them off. America came out of the blocks in the first half and were putting phases together so we were having to defend for long times and when we had possession we kept turning it over which kept the pressure on us.
They might have another when the outside-centre Seamus Kelly straightened and broke the line but he could not get the offload away and Scotland scrambled, albeit from an offside position, if not in the eyes of the referee Chris Pollock. Duncan Weir crossed for the fifth try on virtually the last play of the game as the Americans faded. Two wins, 10 tries and plenty of forward momentum.
Victory was Scotland’s, but there was significant room for improvement with the Springboks to come.
What is also obvious, however, is that when Scotland get decent ball and are accurate they have all manner of game-breakers behind the scrum.
Scotland play South Africa next before, what many expect will the contest that will settle whether they make it out of the group, against Samoa in Newcastle on October 10.
Scotland made nine changes from the side that beat Japan, including three in the backs, but those selected were full of early adventure – a reverse pass from Henry Pyrgos went to ground yet it demonstrated the ambition that three wins in their last four matches has brought. So the Eagles are staring at a winless World Cup for the fourth time in seven editions. Of course it doesn’t mean much given the relative paucity of Scotland’s opposition to date but it is not as if the national rugby team have been so successful over the past decade that we can afford to let little milestones such as this one go unnoticed.
Speaking to ONE News’ Andrew Saville in the aftermath to the Twickenham thriller, kiwi-on-the-ground Rush explained why the Pool A win was his top pick.
Not quite. Another penalty from MacGinty reduced the gap to two points, but the suspicion that Scotland’s fitness and strength in depth would take its toll was reinforced when replacement WP Nel bullocked his way over the line for the Scots’ third try. A sluggish first half that probably put the fear into many a supporter’s mind, only to produce very clinical, impressive second-half displays. Credit to United States of America, they made us pay, they scored a try, they took the points on offer. The old world of rugby was saved of embarrassment of two teams being defeated in a space of five days.
“It says a lot about our character because we came into this on the back of a four-day turnaround”.
“We weren’t particularly accurate in the first 40 but the score early in the second half got us back on track and we managed to build through what was a reasonably hard day of rugby with a win”.
It was careless and showed a vulnerability which was compounded by the loss of lock Grant Gilchrist who limped off to be replaced by Tim Swinson.
Niua for Scully (59), S. Suniula for Petri (50), Kilifi for Fry (67), Fenoglio for Thiel (64), Baumann for Lamositele (69), Barrett for Peterson (50), Quill for Durutalo (59).