Finn Russell Scotland beat 14-man Samoa to keep World Cup hopes alive

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The pressure that Scotland were applying through their kicking game then started beginning to tell. A long clearance into space behind the Samoa back three saw a poor return kick head straight into the arms of Maitland. With a gleeful Stuart Hogg and Russell in tow, they broke on the counter and gained metres immediately. By the time the ball found its way to Laidlaw he scrambled clear of the last defender to score his side’s second try.

What followed was exemplary kicking from Hogg. First, he picked up the ball in the middle of the field at pace and kicked right into the left corner. When the resulting lineout was cleared it came back to Hogg, whose huge drop goal landed just over the posts. With a puffed up chest and confidence high the Exeter-bound man was master of ceremonies and had the entire match playing to his tune.

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Stuart Hogg of Scotland (Credit: Getty Images)

Although it took time to bear fruit, Scotland’s kicking game was proving to be exactly the right plan, with Hogg looking authoritative and dictating the game with his thunderous boot half-time arrived with them 20-0 up. Samoa, in truth, offered very little.

It was more of the same afterwards and the first 15 minutes of the second half saw the Scots camped out in Samoan territory. While the Scotland score wasn’t increasing, the penalty count for Samoa was rapidly on the rise. Eventually, constant penalties at the scrum and breakdown eventually took their toll.

Scotland did eventually think they had scored a try, but they actually got even more. With a rolling maul edging closer to the whitewash, Fraser Brown tried to touch down but was held up by winger Ed Fidow. Unfortunately for Samoa he was offside and came in from the side – his try-saving tackle soon became a penalty try and yellow card from Pascal Gauzere.

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Ed Fidow is shown a yellow card (Credit: Getty Images)

For Samoa, it was difficult to ever see them getting something out of the game throughout. The handling errors continued and they began to mis

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