11 Oct 2015

Scotland edge Samoa to end Japan's hopes

8:43 am on 11 October 2015

Scotland have knocked Japan out of the Rugby World Cup playoffs by beating Samoa 36-33 in Newcastle.

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Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw celebrates his match-winning try, flanked by Tommy Seymour (L) and Matt Scott (R) late in the game against Samoa, Rugby World Cup, St James' Park, Newcastle 10 October 2015

Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw celebrates his match-winning try Photo: Photosport

Skipper Greig Laidlaw scored a late match-winning try and kicked 21 points to send Scotland into the quarter-finals at the expense of the Japanese, ending Samoa's tournament in heartbreaking style in a frenetic Pool B match.

First-half tries from winger Tommy Seymour and flanker John Hardie combined with halfback Laidlaw's efforts proved enough to see off the challenge of the free-running Samoans and set up a last-eight meeting with Australia or Wales.

Samoa scored tries through first-five Tusi Pisi, hooker Manu Leiataua and centre Rey Lee-Lo in a chaotic first half but were unable to breach the Scottish defence after the break until hooker Motu Matu'u scored their fourth try in the dying minutes.

Japan had been hoping for a Samoa victory that, combined with a win over the United States in their final pool match on Monday, would have sent the Brave Blossoms into the knockout stages for the first time.