RECAP: Scotland v Samoa
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to the World Cup pool match between Scotland and Samoa in Kobe City.
Scotland head into their match against Samoa knowing Ireland’s surprise defeat by Japan has blown open up the race for quarterfinal qualification from Pool A.
While it was always possible the Scots could lose to an Ireland side only recently knocked off top spot in the rankings by reigning world champions New Zealand, their woeful display in an opening 3-27 defeat left even loyal fans wondering if they could get out of the group.
But Scotland could yet be involved in a three-horse race for the two quarterfinal spots with tournament hosts Japan and Ireland provided they can avoid further defeat – although the ever-physical Samoans will have something to say about that.
Prediction: Samoa has only ever beaten Scotland once, with one draw in 11 previous encounters. In their last five wins Scotland’s margin was not more than seven points. However, we suspect a charged-up Scotland will win comfortably – by about 15 points.
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* Our live blog will appear below:
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Stuart McInally (captain), 1 Allan Dell
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 George Horne, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Duncan Taylor
Samoa: 15 Tim Nanai Williams, 14 Belgium Tuatagaloa, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Ed Fidow, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Melani Matavao, 8 Jack Lam (captain), 7 Thomas Ioane, 6 Chris Vui, 5 Kane Le’aupepe, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Ray Niuia, 1 Logovii Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 Seilala Lam, 17 Paul Alo Emile, 18 Jordan Lay, 19 Piula Faasalele, 20 Josh Tyrell, 21 Pele Cowley, 22 Ulupano Seuteni, 23 Kieron Fonotia.
Date: Monday, September 30
Venue: Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe City
Kick-off: 19.15 (11.15 UK Time, 23.15 Samoa time, 10.15 GMT)
Expected weather: Sun through high clouds, hot and humid. High of 29°C and a low of 22°C
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)