RUGBY WORLD CUP: Scotland book quarter-final spot after nervy win over Samoa

Scotland's Greig Laidlaw (centre) celebrates scoring
Scotland's Greig Laidlaw (centre) celebrates scoring


Scotland stumbled into the World Cup quarter-finals but only after a nerve-shredding 36-33 win over Samoa in Newcastle.

The Pacific islanders were playing only for pride but came close to killing off Scotland’s participation in the tournament during an incredible clash at St James’ Park.

They scored three times through Tusi Pisi, Manu Leiataua and Rey Lee-Lo during a ridiculous first half which also saw Tommy Seymour and John Hardie cross over.

Scotland were much more solid after the interval and a touchdown from skipper Greig Laidlaw gave them breathing space before Motu Matu’u gave them one last scare at the death.

But they clung on to set up a last-eight clash with either Australia or Wales at Twickenham next Sunday.

Four years ago in New Zealand, Scotland suffered the shame of failing to reach the quarter-finals for the first time. Wins over Japan and the United States meant they needed just one more victory to avoid a devastating repeat.

But there was a feeling going into their decisive final clash that the only thing which could stop them from reaching the knock-out rounds was themselves - and they almost did