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Saturday 3 December 2016

Bonus point as Vern Cotter's harsh words at half-time settle the Scots

Scotland's Henry Pyrgos (2nd right) is tackled by USA's Eric Fry (2nd left) during the Rugby World Cup match at Elland Road, Leeds
Scotland's Henry Pyrgos (2nd right) is tackled by USA's Eric Fry (2nd left) during the Rugby World Cup match at Elland Road, Leeds

Some harsh words from coach Vern Cotter and an early second-half try that settled Scotland’s nerves helped to subdue a robust United States in Leeds yesterday

Captain Henry Pyrgos said the Scots made too many early errors, which left them trailing the Eagles 13-6 at halftime, but a score from wing Tim Visser straight after the break set them on course for the 39-16 bonus-point win.

“It was a tough team talk at halftime. We made a lot of mistakes and put ourselves under pressure,” Pyrgos said. “But credit to the boys, we came out in that second half and got a try straight away, which settled the nerves and allowed us to kick on and ultimately we got the five points. We just relaxed. We got into our structures, played rugby and looked after the ball.”

Coach Vern Cotter admitted he had been worried at the break, but praised his side’s fitness as they fought back with five second-half tries.

“It is fair to say I was pretty concerned. We had chances and bombed them, so it was just a matter of having a calm, controlled mind. The boys did well, having had only four days between this and the Japan match.”

The Scots have secured two try-scoring bonus points in wins over Japan and the United States, sending them top of Pool B, but their toughest tests are still to come against South Africa on Saturday and then Samoa the following week.

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