RWC Game 18: SCO vs. SAM

Scotland needed a better showing than their first match again Ireland.

Particularly in the light of Japan’s famous (but shock) win against the Shamrocks. Scotland were (and still are) in real danger of not making the playoff stages of this Rugby World Cup. Only a bonus point win would be acceptable for the Scotsman, to keep the dream alive.

Samoa, filled with confidence from their comfortable win over Russia, appeared quietly confident, hoping to pounce on the wounded Scottish team.

Everything that was lacking against the Irish, turned up for the Scots in this match. Stretching out to a 20 – 0 lead at half time before completing the first clean sheet of the tournament. The full-time score of 34 – 0 means Scotland are the first team this Rugby World Cup to complete a defensive shut out.

Scotland should be commended for their defensive composure. The last few minutes of the game are testament to that. Samoa, wanting to avoid the doughnut, applied sustained pressure on the Scottish line. With the size of the Samoan forwards and their coordinated pod structure, a try felt inevitable. However, the Scottish defence held, eventually winning a miraculous turn over penalty. A loose forward struck with pinpoint accuracy.

Greg Laidlaw was epic in this match. In the lead up to the RWC there were calls to move on the aging scrumhalf. Thankfully those calls fell on deaf ears. The experience and composure he showed in this match will be invaluable IF Scotland make the finals.

There were two yellow cards awarded to Ed Fidow during the match, meaning he will need to front the Judiciery on Wednesday. Both cards were correct according to the letter of the law.

Ed Fidow (11 Light blue) preventing a probable try by coming in on the side from an offside position.

The first was a poor defensive decision. Never onside, Ed should have either let the (inevitable) try be scored or retire to the last feet and join the back of the maul. Pretty much anything but what he did. Penalty Try and yellow card were awarded.

Ed Fidow sliding in with the knees. Adjudged foul play, preventing the try

The second was less clear cut. The Scotsman dove for the line from about 3 metres out, by the time Ed arrived he was already on the ground. Contact was made by the knees to the back and the Scot lost the ball before the try line. The referee determined that the knee in the back was the cause of the ball dislodgment and awarded a penalty try and yellow card, as is the process determined by World Rugby.

This gifted Scotland the bonus point, sealed the win, and meant Penalty Try was the top scorer for the match.

Full Time Score: Scotland 34 – Samoa 0

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