By Peter Rutherford
KOBE (Reuters) – Samoa’s hopes of reaching the World Cup quarter-finals suffered a body blow on Monday when they were beaten 34-0 by Scotland but coach Steve Jackson says his side are still in with a shout of advancing from Pool A.
Scotland scored two tries in either half, the latter two coming when referee Pascal Gauzere judged Samoa had illegally impeded the Scots’ progress to the line and awarded them two penalty tries.
Samoa, blanked in a World Cup game for the first time in 30 matches, also lost winger Ed Fidow to a red card after the referee pulled him up for being the offender in both incidents.
Jackson, barely audible at times due to the celebrations in the nearby Scottish dressing room, said his team’s pride was dented.
“One changing room is singing and the other one is pretty sombre,” he added. “They are hurting and so they should. No one likes losing and no one likes scoring zero.”
The sending off of winger Fidow presents Samoa with fresh selection problems after the three-game bans handed out to centre Rey Lee-lo and hooker Motu Matu’u for high hits in the Russia game.
“You try to stop tries, there’s going to be risk and reward,” he said. “We don’t teach them to go and get yellow cards, by no means to we coach or train that.”
While Samoa had delivered a sub-par performance Jackson was full of praise for Scotland, who had opened their World Cup campaign with a woeful 27-3 defeat to Ireland.
“We’ve got to give credit where credit is due. They came out tonight and wanted it more and executed everything that they did. They showed great skill and they moved the ball well.”
A game against tournament hosts Japan, who top the group on nine points, was a good opportunity for Samoa to “get back on the horse”.
“We’re one win from two games — both Scotland and Ireland are exactly the same,” he added. “If we get the result against Japan we’re right back in it.
“By no means do we think we are down and out after this game.”
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)