Wallabies Exposed the Australian Rugby Union

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Scotland team
Scotland team (Credits: Peter Cziborra/Reuters)

The Scotland coach, Gregor Townsend, says he expects their meeting with Ireland in Paris on Saturday week to be a “straight shootout” for a World Cup quarter-final place.

Townsend’s team dispatched Tonga at the Stade de Nice on Sunday, securing an attacking bonus point by half-time in a 45-17 win featuring seven different try-scorers.

Getting another bonus point success was the next target on Scot’s qualification, this time against Romania in Lille on Saturday. But Romania has been beaten 82-8 by Ireland and 76-0 by South Africa.

Finn Russell
Finn Russell pulled the strings for Scotland in a win over Tonga. (Credits: Craig Watson)

Townsend’s comments on the Scotland team

The head coach is confident of optimizing their overall chances and setting up a high-stakes clash against Ireland (ranked number 1) a week later.

“The fact South Africa picked up a bonus point [in Saturday’s defeat by Ireland] does mean it’s a straight shootout between us and Ireland if South Africa pick up five points against Tonga,” Townsend said.

If they do, they’ll get to 15 points, and we and Ireland are competing to get to 14 points unless we win with bonus points [against Ireland].

“We have to get to 10 points [against Romania] to make sure it becomes a shootout between us and them … If we were to win that Ireland game by more than seven points, we get through to the quarter-finals. It’s as straightforward as that, but when we’re playing the No. 1 team in the world in two weeks’ time, we know it’s going to be a difficult challenge.”

Scotland were obliged to wait to return to action following the opening defeat by South Africa, and the head coach said he was pleased with the effort of his players against the Tongans.

“It was a different Test match; we had to front up physically, and we did that,” Townsend said. “We had a platform there to score more points, but we’ve got to be very happy with a 45-point win, having not played for two weeks, and when we know we have to do it the hard way to get out of this group.”

Scotland v Tonga
Scotland v Tonga (Credits: Peter Cziborra/Reuters)

Townsend shares an emotional moment with McInally

Townsend also had an emotional moment in the changing room on Sunday with Stuart McInally, the veteran hooker, as he had a neck injury during the training, which forced him out of the tournament.

Glasgow’s Johnny Matthews will replace the 33-year-old McInally, who is retiring to pursue a career as an airline pilot.

“He got a presentation in the changing room from the players, and Grant Gilchrist gave him a fantastic speech,” Townsend said. “It’s a very emotional time for all of us … we all thought this would be a great way for him to end his career, coming out and getting his 50th cap. That was something he deserved and had earned, given what he had put into that jersey over his career … It’s just bad luck.”

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By Richard

All in one crazy for sports, especially baseball.

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