RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015
Sunday, 11 October 00:30
Scotland’s hopes of a quarter-final spot remain in the balance after their defeat to South Africa last weekend. The Scots fell short against a ruthlessly clinical and powerful Springbok outfit, but fortunately Verne Cotter’s side’s destiny is still in their own hands as victory on Saturday guarantees qualification from pool B. Samoa were extremely poor against Japan in all areas but especially in their discipline as three yellow cards ruined any chance of a win. They will be determined to salvage some pride in this fixture and Cotter will no doubt be aware that the Pacific Islanders can be very dangerous in this situation.
Scotland have won seven out of nine against Pacific Island opposition but they’ve won just two matches against non-minnows at World Cups since 2003. These two sides last met in 2013 when Samoa recorded their first win in the nine head-to-heads they’ve played. There’s been little to choose from the teams when they’ve met in the past. All of the last four fixtures have been decided by no more than 10 points.
Manu Samoa have faced one Six Nations opponent in the each of the last three World Cups and have been defeated every time. They lost narrowly to Wales four years ago and came unstuck against England in 2007 and 2003 by 22 and 13 points respectively. Pacific Island nations have won just 2/13 World Cup matches against Six Nations teams since 2003 but only four of the 11 losses covered the 10.5 pre-match handicap here. With the pressure off we expect them to make it difficult for a Scottish side that will be under plenty, so giving the Pacific Islanders a slight head start looks a strong selection.
- Scotland have won eight of their last 10 against Pacific Island teams
- Scotland have only beaten two non-minnow nations at a World Cup since 2003
- Samoa have lost their last three matches against Six Nations sides at a World Cup