Scotland's Adam Hastings reacts after scoring a try against Russia at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa on Wednesday. Photo: AP/Christophe Ena
rugby world cup 2019

Scotland breezes past Russia 61-0 to set up Japan showdown


Scotland breezed past an exhausted-looking Russia 61-0 at the Rugby World Cup on Wednesday to set up a showdown with host Japan for a quarterfinal place.

The Scots got the bonus point they wanted and more in Shizuoka and kept the opposition scoreless for the second straight game. That's a major comeback for Scotland after it was humbled by Ireland to start its World Cup.

Scotland went down 27-3 to the Irish and was despondent. It responded by beating Samoa 34-0 and also blanking Russia. The Scots have scored 95 points without reply in their last two games.

Russia threw everything into its first three games in Japan and had nothing left in the tank at Shizuoka Stadium and was completely overrun. The Russians have still never won a Rugby World Cup game in eight attempts. Captain Vasily Artemyev, who has started all eight of those losses at the World Cup, walked off to an ovation in the second half in what's probably his final game at the showpiece.

Scotland scored nine tries and had two more disallowed for forward passes. Scrumhalf George Horne had a hat trick and was denied a fourth because of one of the forward passes. Flyhalf Adam Hastings, son of Scotland great Gavin, scored Scotland's first two tries and kicked eight out of nine conversions for 26 points. He was denied a hat trick in the last move of the game after a flowing attack from Scotland — one of many — ended with him dotting down between the posts.

That was also ruled out for a forward pass. It didn't matter. Scotland did more than enough to show that Sunday's game against Japan will be a humdinger, especially as most of Scotland's best players had a rest on Wednesday evening.

Coach Gregor Townsend made 14 changes for this game, the most by Scotland between World Cup matches, and his reserves repaid him with an overwhelming performance.

Now for Japan in Yokohama.

The Pool A standings are: Japan top on 14 points, Ireland second on 11, Scotland third on 10. Ireland plays Samoa on Saturday and Scotland plays the hosts on Sunday in the fight for the two quarterfinal places.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Now that is how we like to see Scotland. A stunning show.

Halfway through I began to wish though that Russia could score something in return...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What about that approaching taifun/taiphoon? Not sure what happens if the Saturday game is rained out. Wish Yokohama stadium had a full roof!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That bonus pointed that Samoa gifted japan is looking like will be the decider.

The scheduling favors the host heavily and has to be addressed to create a semblance of even playing field.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That bonus pointed that Samoa gifted japan is looking like will be the decider.

It will only be the decider if Scotland don't do enough to go forward. In which case, both team's games against Ireland might be considered the deciders. I hope no-one's suggesting Ireland didn't give it everything, and I'd like to think no-one's suggesting the same about Samoa.

Anyway, bring it on (along with the calculators and weather maps).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Look out, Japan! Scotland are going to be hard!!! The win against Ireland will be meaningless if you're not on your game!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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