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Rugby World Cup: Scotland 45-10 Japan: Vern Cotter's side demolish Brave Blossoms

Scotland have beaten Japan 45-10 in their World Cup Pool B match at Kingsholm

By Andy Newport

Scotland got their World Cup campaign off to a perfect start with a 45-10 win over Japan - but only after Eddie Jones' charges threatened to cause another upset.

For the first 40 minutes it was the Springbok slayers who looked set to repeat their giant-killing act after Amanaki Mafi scored the opening try.


But Vern Cotter's men ran in five second-half tries as the Brave Blossoms flagged just four days after they stunned the world with their incredible win over South Africa.

A double from Mark Bennett on top of scores from John Hardie, Tommy Seymour and Finn Russell ensured the Scots avoided a potential banana skin and claimed a valuable bonus point.

Scotland could finally breathe easy with 17 minutes left when Seymour leapt on a Yu Tamura pass before running 70 yards up field to put the game beyond Jones' men. Again Laidlaw put over the extras.

By now the Japanese were running on empty and Bennett scored again to hand his side an additional point as he ghosted in off the back of ruck before bursting past a couple of half-hearted challenges. Laidlaw added another successful conversion.

Finn Russell got in on the act as he collected a short pass from Laidlaw after a five-yard scrum and danced his way over for the fifth touchdown. Laidlaw again converted.

Rugby Union World Cup Pool B

Scotland (12) 45 Japan (7) 10

Scotland: Tries: Hardie, Bennett 2, Seymour, Russell.

Cons: Laidlaw 4. Pens: Laidlaw 4.

Scotland: Hogg, Seymour, Bennett, Scott, Lamont, Russell,

Laidlaw, Dickinson, Ford, Nel, Gilchrist, J. Gray, Wilson,

Hardie, Denton.

Replacements: Maitland for Hogg (66), Horne for Bennett (80),

Grant for Dickinson (65), Brown for Ford (73),

Welsh for Nel (72), R. Gray for Gilchrist (51),

Strauss for Wilson (59).

Not Used: Pyrgos.

Japan: Tries: Mafi. Cons: Goromaru. Pens: Goromaru.

Japan: Goromaru, Matsushima, Sau, Tamura, Fukuoka, Tatekawa,

Tanaka, Inagaki, Horie, Yamashita, Thompson, Ives, Leitch,

Broadhurst, Mafi.

Replacements: Hiwasa for Tamura (69),

Hesketh for Tatekawa (76), Mikami for Inagaki (41),

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Kizu for Horie (73), Hatakeyama for Yamashita (53),

Ito for Thompson (69), Makabe for Ives (61), Tui for Mafi (46).

Sin Bin: Matsushima (24).

Att: 14,354

Ref: John Lacey (Ireland).

Belfast Telegraph

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