Scotland revived their Rugby World Cup campaign with a 34-0 victory over Samoa yesterday, scoring four tries in a much-improved performance to secure a bonus point that could prove crucial in a tight Pool A.
Japan's stunning upset of Ireland on Saturday shattered the expected permutations of the pool and the Scots knew they needed to get a big win on the board after their dismal defeat to the Irish in their opener. Winger Sean Maitland and scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw scored converted tries with Stuart Hogg landing a 40-metre drop goal in the first half, while two penalty tries after the break secured the all-important extra point.
Samoa winger Ed Fidow was the offender for both penalty tries and he was shown a yellow card for the first then given his marching orders after crashing into Maitland with his knees to stop the Scot getting over the line in the 74th minute. All week Scotland had spoken of drawing a line under the Ireland debacle and of ensuring that they would enforce their will on Samoa and deliver a performance the country could be proud of. They did all that and more against a side who have traditionally given them problems. Townsend made five changes to the side that rolled over and showed Ireland their belly in Yokohama, but it was the established halfback pairing of Laidlaw and Finn Russell that gave the Scots an early lift.