Scotland v Russia

Scotland put on a thoroughly professional performance to very much keep their Rugby World Cup hopes alive ahead of a mouth-watering showdown with hosts Japan this coming Sunday.

Against a Russian opposition that showed plenty of early endeavour, Gregor Townsend’s men stuck to the vital task in hand and ended up coasting to a bonus point victory with nine tries, keeping their opponents pointless for the second match in a row.

A game of such magnitude was always prone to a chaotic start, with Russia determined to go out all guns blazing and Scotland acutely aware that a full complement of points was non-negotiable in the narrative of a congested Pool A table.

Some breathless opening exchanges contained both stoic Russian defence and patient build-up from the Scots, who were rewarded after 13 minutes when an attacking scrum allowed Adam Hastings to weave his way over for the opening try, which he duly converted.

It was an early sign of things to come at the Shizuoka Stadium as Scotland began to exert more pressure, pinning Russia back with a series of telling tactical kicks that resulted in a second try with 18 minutes on the clock. Hastings again took centre stage, showing innovation to dribble like a footballer and fall on a beautifully presented ball and cement an excellent start.

The try tally was soon up to three when George Horne intercepted his opposite number’s attempted pass on the Russian line with the reactions of an Olympic sprinter, Hastings adding the extras to make it 21-0.

Scotland brought on Magnus Bradbury for Fraser Brown after half an hour in an apparent tactical switch, with the game very much going to plan and a bonus point looming. The much-anticipated fourth try didn’t come before half-time, although it didn’t take long for Scotland to reach their goal soon after.

Half-Time: Scotland 21-0 Russia 

Four minutes into the second half, the ebullient Darcy Graham scorched through the Russian defence, slaloming the course of a full 70 metres before offloading to a gleeful George Horne to register his own brace.

It was soon five tries when hooker George Turner broke free from a rolling maul and six when Tommy Seymour notched a 20thinternational try, smothering a Blair Kinghorn grubber to dot down in the corner. The metronomic Hastings converted both to make it 42-0 and put Scotland out of sight.

Horne became the first Scottish scrum-half to score a Test hat-trick on the hour, again providing a shoulder to try from, after brother Peter broke from deep and had laid off to Henry Pyrgos.

A flurry of substitutions from both sides made for a scrappy ten minutes, yet Scotland still had time to squeeze two more tries from the contest. Skipper John Barclay benefitted from prop Simon Berghan’s sleight of hand to a display dummying skills that can rarely be associated with a forward and canter over, before Stuart McInally crossed for the game’s ninth and final try, with the unerring Hastings overtaking his uncle Scott’s international points tally in the process by way of two further conversions.

This was a job well done by Scotland ahead of what promises to be a game for the ages this Sunday October 13 against hosts Japan in Yokohama.

Full-Time: Scotland 61-0 Russia

Scotland: Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby); Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby); Adam Hastings, George Horne (both Glasgow Warriors); Gordon Reid (Ayrshire Bulls), George Turner, Zander Fagerson (both Glasgow Warriors); Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby); John Barclay (Edinburgh Rugby, CAPTAIN), Fraser Brown, Ryan Wilson (both Glasgow Warriors).

Replacements: Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) for Turner (64 mins), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh Rugby) for Fagerson (40), WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) for Reid (60), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) for Cummings (60), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby) for Brown (30), Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh Rugby) for Graham (46), Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons) for G. Horne (64). Not used: Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby).

Russia: Vasily Artemyev CAPTAIN; German Davydov, Vladimir Ostroushko, Dimitri Gerasimov, Vladislav Sozonov; Ramil Gaisin, Dmitry Perov; Valery Morozov, Stanislav Selskii, Kirill Gotovtsev, Andrei Ostrikov, Evgeny Elgin, Vitaly Zhivatov, Tagir Gadzhiev, Nikita Vavilin.

Replacements: Sergey Chernyshev, Azamat Bitiev, Vladimir Podrezov, Bigdan Fedotko, Andrei Garbuzov, Sergey Yanyushkin, Anton Sychev, Yuri Kushnarev.

live commentary 8:15 AM Wednesday 9 Oct 2019

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Kick-off 8:15 AM

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