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Rugby World Cup

Scotland Blow Away Tired Looking Russia

Scotland have set up a showdown with Japan on Sunday for a quarter-final spot after overseeing a comfortable win over Russia

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(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Scotland sealed a 61-0 bonus-point win this morning over Russia in Pool A of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Needing a to rack up a big victory to stay in contention for a quarter-final spot the Scots did just that with a hat-trick of tries from George Horne, along with a brace from Adam Hastings adding to efforts from George Turner, Tommy Seymour, John Barclay and Stuart McInally. 

Both teams started well with the ball staying in play for most of the opening stages, but despite Russia having a good opening it was Scotland who went ahead on 14 minutes after winning a scrum against the head inside the opposition 22. 

From the resulting scrum they sent the ball out to Hastings who dummy passed before breaking breaking through a gap in the defence to go over for the games first try. He converted his own score to make it 7-0. 

Five minutes later and the fly-half was at the centre of the action again as he kicked ahead, racing onto the loose ball to kick forward once more and diving on the ball in the in-goal area for his second of the game, which he again converted. 

Less than three minutes on and Scotland had try number three with Russia winning their own line-out five-metres out from their own line, but then sending a pass to the backs which was intercepted by Horne, who touched down. Hastings added the extras once more. 

Russia held out for the remainder of the opening half as Scotland went in 21-0 up come the whistle. 

Five minutes into the second-half and Scotland had the bonus-point try they needed and deserved, with Darcy Graham catching a kick inside his own 22 before darting forward and after some nice handling the ball found its way to Horne for the try. Hastings was perfect from the tee again. 

With just under half an hour remaining the Russians began to tire and Scotland took full advantage as they drove forward from a line-out maul before Turner broke away from the back and charged over, with Hastings putting two more points on the board. 

A few minutes later and Scotland were in once again as Blair Kinghorn sent a lovely kick through the Russian 22 for Seymour to dive on the ball for another Scottish try. Hastings made it six from six from the tee. 

Moments later and and Horne was on the end of a great break from Scotland diving over in the left-hand corner for his hat-trick. This time Hastings couldn’t convert but it was 47-0 with little over 20 minutes remaining. 

The Russians managed to hold out for the next 15 minutes before Barclay made a fantastic break through the defensive line and fake passed to get past the final defender and touched down under the posts. Hastings made no mistake this time around with the kick. 

With a minute left replacement McInally ran in for a try in the right-hand corner to stretch the lead. Hastings slotted over the touchline conversion for the final points of the game leaving it at 61-0. 

The victory now means that Scotland have a chance to go through to the quarter-finals if they beat hosts Japan on Sunday in what will be a shootout for the last-eight. While for Russia they conclude their tournament with their heads held high after putting in some good performances throughout the tournament. 

Scotland Player Ratings

Starting XV:

Blair Kinghorn (7), Tommy Seymour (7), Duncan Taylor (7), Pete Horne (8), Darcy Graham (8), Adam Hastings (9), George Horne (9); Gordon Reid (7), George Turner (7), Zander Fagerson (7), Scott Cummings (7), Ben Toolis (8), John Barclay (8), Fraser Brown (6), Ryan Wilson (7)

Replacements (8)

Rugby World Cup

Jones Makes Spy Claims After England Training

England head coach Eddie Jones has made some big claims following his side’s training session earlier today

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England head coach Eddie Jones has claimed that someone was spying on his team’s training session earlier today in Japan.

Jones’ England are preparing for the biggest game of their Rugby World Cup campaign so far as they face the All Blacks on Saturday. However, Jones has made a claim that someone was filming his side during training but that he has nothing to hide. 

“There was definitely someone in the apartment block (across from the training ground) filming, it might have been a Japanese fan. You just don’t need to do it anymore. You can watch everyone’s training on Youtube. There’s absolutely no value in that anymore. Don’t care, mate. Don’t care. We knew from the start that they were filming and it doesn’t change anything we do. We have two security guards – Prince Harry’s… and the ex-Prime Minister’s. Only those two. Lovely blokes,” he said. 

The Aussie also admitted that he used to spy on team’s years ago but that he doesn’t see the point anymore. 

“We used to do it [secretly film opposition training sessions]. I haven’t done it since 2001. There’s no need. Everyone knows what everyone else does. There are no surprises in world rugby anymore,” he added. 

In a press conference filled with madness from Jones he also stated that most of New Zealand’s media reporters are “fans with keyboards”. 

Jones is known for playing mind-games before matches and has heaped the pressure on the All Blacks saying that his side have nothing to lose while their opposition have the weight of the world on their shoulders and it will be tough for them to be mentally prepared. 

“We don’t have any pressure, mate. No one thinks we can win. There are 120 million Japanese people out there whose second team are the All Blacks. They [the All Blacks] have got to be thinking, they’re looking for a third straight World Cup, so there will be pressure there. I don’t think they are vulnerable but the pressure is real. The busiest guy for them will be Gilbert Enoka. They will be talking about it the whole week. It’s potentially the last game for their greatest ever coach (Steve Hansen), and for their greatest ever captain (Kieran Read),” he finished. 

England and Jones will need to play the perfect game on Saturday when they take on the All Blacks on Saturday as the Kiwi’s are chasing a third successive Rugby World Cup title and it looks as though Jones will be trying to unsettle them before a ball is even kicked.

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Rugby World Cup

Hansen Explains Read’s Absence at Training

All Blacks captain Kieran Read was nowhere to be seen during the team’s training on Tuesday but head coach Steve Hansen has explained the situation

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(Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has confirmed that captain Kieran Read did not train with the rest of the squad today as a precaution to an injury he picked up against Ireland on Saturday.

New Zealand are preparing for their Rugby World Cup semi-final showdown with England on Saturday and while the rest of the squad were training Read was absent with concerns growing over his availability but Hansen insists that the back-rower will be fit for the last-four clash. 

“There is no issue. You didn’t see him train because he was in the gym on the bike. He got a tight calf from the game the other day and we didn’t want to put him out on a wet track today. Yeah, 100 per cent,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Hansen has admitted that replacement forward Matt Todd will definitely not be available this weekend due to injury but should be in contention for next weekend. 

“He is making good progress but not fast enough so he won’t be available (for the England game). He should be right if we are lucky enough to play another game next week,” he added. 

With the game seeing two of the games best coaches line-up against each other in Eddie Jones and Hansen, the latter thinks that it would be stupid not to expect his opposite number to have a few tricks up his sleve ahead of the game. 

“We got the same question from the Irish last week. You’ll be naïve as a coach not to expect the opposition to do something different. That is their job. You practise it and you implement it. If it works, you are a superstar and if it doesn’t you’re an idiot. It’s a fine line we live, us coaches,” he finished. 

New Zealand are looking to make it to yet another World Cup final with victory on Saturday as they continue their quest to win three Webb Ellis Cup’s in a row. However, they know that it will be no easy task against an English side in full flight and fans will be hoping their star captain will be available when the teams are announced later in the week.

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Rugby World Cup

Officials Confirmed for RWC Semi-Finals

World Rugby have announced the officials that will take charge of this weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals

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World Rugby have confirmed that Nigel Owens and Jerome Garces will be the referees for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals at the International Stadium Yokohama in Japan.

Following yesterday’s controversy surrounding South African referee Jaco Peyper, where he was pictured posing with Welsh fans and appeared to be mocking the sending off of France forward Sebastien Vahaamahina, World Rugby confirmed that he was not considered for selection. 

That means that Wales’ Owens will take charge of England’s clash with reigning back to back World Cup holders the All Blacks on Saturday, with French duo of Romain Poite and Pascal Gauzere as his assistants. While South Africa’s Marius Jonker is the TMO. 

Meanwhile French referee Garces will be the man in the middle of Wales’ last four showdown with the Springboks on Sunday, with England’s Wayne Barnes and New Zealand’s Ben O’Keeffe as his assistants. Fellow Kiwi Ben Skeen will take to role of TMO. 

Speaking on the appointments chairman of World Rugby Sir Bill Beaumont congratulated those selected explaining they are the best in the business. 

“I would like to congratulate Nigel and Jérôme, the assistant referees and TMOs on their selection for the semi-finals. These are the best of the best, supported by a superb team, and we now look forward to compelling semi-finals at International Stadium Yokohama over the weekend,” he said. 

The officials were selected after a review of their performances so far in the tournament as well as making it a neutral selection for each game. As for Peyper it remains to be seen what his full punishment will be following an investigation by World Rugby.

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