Scotland vs USA, Sun, 27/09/2015 - 14:30

Scotland
39 - 16
Full time
USA
Sunday, 27 September, 2015 - 14:30 | Elland Road, Leeds

Scotland recorded their second bonus-point win of Rugby World Cup 2015 as they rallied to a 39-16 victory over a stuffy USA Eagles, to top Pool B.

Despite being 13-6 down at the halfway point, the Dark Blues proved too strong in the second-half and crossed the line on five occasions to secure another five points in their group.

Like their opening win against Japan – only four days prior to this match – Scotland scored 33 points in the second-half, whilst only conceding three.

Man-of-the-match Stuart Hogg opened Scotland's scoring account with an impressive, long-range penalty kick to annul USA stand-off AJ McGinty's successful shot at goal only two minutes prior.

Scotland had the better of the following exchanges and a number of forced errors at the ruck from USA allowed Finn Russell to snatch the lead back with his boot after 15 minutes (6-3).

Hogg was unlucky not to extend Scotland’s lead in the 18th minute, when his monstrous 50 metre strike had the legs, yet, unfortunately, faded marginally wide of the uprights.

USA retaliated in fine fashion and took the lead after 20 minutes through prop Titi Lamositele, who crashed over following a period of sustained pressure from the Eagles. McGinty’s conversion attempt hit the post before flopping over the crossbar to give his side a 10-6 lead.

Scotland’s best chance of the half came in the 26th minute when Hogg made a scintillating individual break from inside his own half, yet, under the pressure, couldn’t quite find his target, Tim Visser, with the final pass.

Russell couldn’t make it two-from-two with a difficult 40 metre penalty attempt in the 33rd minute, yet his Eagles counterpart, McGinty, took his chance on the stroke of half-time to open up the gap to seven points.

Half-time: Scotland 6-13 USA Eagles

It took just over a minute in the second-half for Scotland to ignite their comeback, as Hogg linked up with the ever-present Visser, who scorched up the touchline to score his side’s first try of the game (11-13).

With a new found confidence, Scotland maintained their high-tempo attack and, in the 47th minute, regained the lead through a Sean Maitland try. Russell was the provider with a neat inside pass to put the flying-winger into space for the score. The stand-off added the extras to give Scotland a five-point lead (18-13).

AJ McGinty closed the gap to three points with a successful penalty in the 51st minute.

However, it was not enough to break the stride of a rampant Scotland, as replacement prop WP Nel bundled over the line two minutes later for his side’s third of the game, and his first in the thistle jersey. Substitute Greig Laidlaw, who was handed kicking duties and captaincy as he replaced Henry Pyrgos, banged over the conversion to give Scotland a nine-point cushion (25-16).

Head Coach Vern Cotter freshened up his back-line with a number of changes, with Duncan Weir replacing Finn Russell at stand-off, and Matt Scott coming on for Pete Horne in the centre.

The latter made his presence felt imminently, as he ran a fantastic line from the blindside of the ruck to ease through a startled USA defence, and secure Scotland a bonus point with a fourth try. Again, Laidlaw added the extras (32-16).

Weir was also keen to make an impression on his World Cup debut as he darted through a gap in the tiring USA defence to score Scotland’s fifth try at the death – Laidlaw making no mistakes with the conversion.

Full-time: Scotland (6) 39-16 (13) USA Eagles

Scotland team: 15 Stuart Hogg; 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tim Visser; 10 Finn Russell, 9 Henry Pyrgos; 1 Ryan Grant, 2 Ross Ford, 3 Jon Welsh, 4 Richie Gray, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 7 Ryan Wilson, 8 Josh Strauss. Substitutes: 16 Kevin Bryce on for Ford (78'), 17 Alasdair Dickinson on for Grant (40'), 18 Willem Nel on for Welsh (40'), 19 Tim Swinson on for Gilchrist (19'), 20 Fraser Brown on for Wilson (46'), 21 Greig Laidlaw on for Pyrgos (53'), 22 Duncan Weir on for Russell (60'), 23 Matt Scott on for Horne (53').

USA Eagles team: 15 Chris Wyles; 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Seamus Kelly, 12 Thretton Palamo, 11 Blaine Scully; 10 AJ McGinty, 9 Mike Petri; 1 Eric Fry, 2 Phil Thiel, 3 Titi Lamositele, 4 Hayden Smith, 5 Greg Peterson, 6 Al McFarland, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 8 Samu Manoa. Substitutes: 16 Zach Fenoglio, 17 Olive Kilifi, 18 Chris Baumann, 19 Cameron Dolan, 20 John Quill, 21 Danny Barrett, 22 Sahlom Suniula and 23 Folau Niua.

Man-of-the-match: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Attendance: 33,521

Team lineups

Scotland
USA

Backs

Backs

Forwards

Forwards

Substitutes

Substitutes

Rugby World Cup 2015 - Pool B latest results

USA 18 v 28 Japan
Samoa 33 v 36 Scotland
South Africa 64 v 0 USA
South Africa 34 v 16 Scotland
Samoa 5 v 26 Japan