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Wednesday, October 20, 1999 Published at 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK

Scots survive Samoan onslaught

Samoa's To'o Vaega hits Glenn Metcalfe a flying tackle

Scotland 35-20 Samoa

Scotland saw off a brave Samoan charge with a disciplined 35-20 victory to set up a quarter-final clash against World Cup favourites New Zealand

Ian McGeechan: "We were pleased with the result against a dangerous side"
Scotland stuck to Jim Telfer's instructions of safety first and the tactics were enough to wear down the big-hearted Samoans who burst into the fray and refused to give up the fight.

The game began at a furious pace as Samoan fly-half Stephen Bachop, architect of their famous victory over Wales, opted to run the ball at every opportunity.

Scotland weathered the early storm but needed the intervention of referee David McHugh for their early lead.

[ image: The All-Blacks look impressed by their quarter-final opponents]
The All-Blacks look impressed by their quarter-final opponents
With Scotland parked on the Samoan five-metre line, the hard-tackling South Sea pack managed to frustrate their opposite forwards for a good five minutes.

But when the Samoan front-row stood up to sabotage the ninth consecutive scrum, McHugh awarded a penalty try.

The Samoans clung on through a Silao Leaega penalty goal and a series of mistakes by the Scots, playing in unfamiliar orange, but it was only a matter of time before Telfer's side managed to breach the increasingly desperate Samoan wall of blue.

Glenn Metcalfe, Pountney and Tom Smith were among a succession of Scottish players who pounded into the brave Samoans but it was Martin Leslie who finally found a way through in the 39th minute.

Left-winger Logan missed the conversion but slotted a penalty just before the interval - as did Leaega - to take the half-time score to 15-6.

Leaega missed a vital chance to close the gap on Scotland early in the second half after Logan had extended their lead to 13 points.

[ image: Half the seats at Murrayfield were empty]
Half the seats at Murrayfield were empty
Va'aiga Tuigamala used all his great bulk to charge down the left flank and set up a prolonged Samoan assualt on the Scottish try-line.

The Scots were penalised in the resulting melee but Leaega missed the tricky kick.

It was to prove the game's turning point.

The Samoans ground on but to emerge from such a promising and energy-sapping drive without a score clearly sapped their will.

Tired legs

Their early efforts took their toll and they began to tire - prop Tom Smith bursting through to set up a well-taken drop goal for Gregor Townsend.

Still the Samoans came back at the Scots and it was they who scored the first try of the second half.

The opening was created once again by Tuigamala and finished in the corner by Semo Sititi, Leaega slotting the extra points to bring the Samoans within two converted tries of the Scots.

But Logan edged the Scots ahead again and left them comfortable enough to turn on the style - perhaps to impress a certain group of All Blacks sitting in the half-empty Murrayfield stands.

Left-winger Cammie Murray showed all his hunger and pace as he rounded off a superb Scottish move with a diving try to the corner.

Bill Johnson on a controlled performance by the Scottish team
Brian Lima scored a last-minute try - the 20th of his career - but it was only a consolation for the Samoans who were well-beaten, as they were in 1991, but confirmed their status as an emerging nation in 15-man rugby.

Scotland coach Ian McGeechan said the team went into the match with the aim of controlling the game and wearing down the Samoans' determination.

He said: "We were very pleased against what we thought was a dangerous side.

"We wanted to get control because they are such dangerous runners and strong players, so as a team we wanted to work away at the pressure and get the points."

McGeechan said the Scots would now relish the game against the All Blacks on Sunday.

"It's great for us, I think with the All Blacks coming here on Sunday it couldn't be better really, we're looking forward to it."


Scotland: Glenn Metcalfe; Cammie Murray, Jamie Mayer, James McLaren, Kenny Logan; Gregor Townsend, Gary Armstrong (capt); Tom Smith, Gordon Bulloch, George Graham, Scott Murray, Doddie Weir, Martin Leslie, Budge Pountney, Gordon Simpson.
Replacements: Alan Tait, Duncan Hodge, Bryan Redpath, Cammie Mather, Stuart Grimes, Paul Burnell, Rob Russell.
Samoa: Silao Leaega; Brian Lima, To'o Vaega, Terry Fanolua, Va'aiga Tuigamala; Stephen Bachop, Stephen So'oialo; Brendan Reidy, Trevor Leota, Samuela Asi, Lio Faloniko, Lama Tone, Semo Sititi, Craig Glendinning, Pat Lam (capt).
Replacements: Filipo Toala, Earl Va'a, Jon Clarke, Isaac Feaunati, Sene Ta'ala, Robbie Ale, Onehunga Matauiau.
Referee: David McHugh (Ireland)


Scotland: Tries: Leslie, Murray, Penalty.
Cons: Logan. Pens: Logan 5. Drop Goals: Townsend.
Samoa: Tries: Lima, Sititi.
Cons: Leaega 2. Pens: Leaega 2.
Att: 15,661

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