Hopes of another monumental Rugby World Cup upset quickly were put to rest Sunday in Leeds, England.
Trailing the United States by seven points after 40 minutes of play, Scotland proceeded to rack up up fiveÂ second-half tries — including twoÂ in the first seven minutes — to win 39-16 and remind the U.S. of its place in the internationalÂ rugby hierarchy.
“That second half was very frustrating,” U.S. coach Mike Tolkin told reporters after the loss, which dropped the Eagles to 0-2 at this year’s World Cup. “Any momentum we had was gone, and we played a lot from deep.”
A Titi Lamositele try in the 21st minute, two A.J. MacGinty penalty goals and a bevy of big hits allowed the Americans to take a 13-6 lead into the locker room. They managed just three points in the second half, however, as Scotland jumped ahead in the 47th minute and never looked back.
“We wanted to come out of (halftime) and put points on the board first,” Tolkin told reporters. “And we think if we would have done that, maybe Scotland presses a little more, maybe feels the fatigue a little more. But instead, we allowed them (to take control).”
The U.S. now will enjoy a nine-day layoff before taking on mighty South Africa on Oct. 7 and closing out its pool-play slate against Japan on Oct. 11.
The rest of the weekend’s Rugby World Cup results:
Italy 23, Canada 18:Â After being thrashed by Ireland last weekend, Team Canada responded by giving Italy all it could handle. The Canadians owned leads of 10-0 and 15-13, but a missed penalty in the first half and a disallowed try in the second proved costly. 36-year-old Italian flakerÂ Mauro Bergamasco entered as a 58th-minute substitute toÂ become just the second player ever toÂ playÂ in five Rugby World Cups.
South Africa 46, Samoa 6: The Springboks took the frustration of last weekend’sÂ monumentalÂ upset loss to Japan out on the Samoans. South Africa led by just 11 after 40 minutes but cranked itÂ into high gear the second half, with wingerÂ JP Pietersen touching down three of the team’s six tries. The victoryÂ came at a cost, however, as South Africa lost captain Jean de Villiers to a broken jaw. The 34-year-old willÂ miss the remainder of the tournament and on Sunday announced his retirement from international rugby.
Wales 28, England 25: In arguably the match of the tournament so far, Wales overcame a 10-point second-half deficit and the loss of three players to injury to stun the tournament hosts at Twickenham. England, which now must defeat Australia next SaturdayÂ to have any realistic chance of advancing to the knockout stage, chose to go for the win in the 78th minute rather than attempt a difficult penalty kick — a decision that obviously backfired. Dan Biggar and Owen Farrell combined to go a perfect 12-for-12 on penalties for Wales and England, respectively, with Biggar slotting the eventual game-winner in the 75th minute.
Australia 65, Uruguay 3:Â The Wallabies made quick work of the overmatched Uruguayans, rackingÂ up 11 tries — by eight different players — in the largest win of the tournament so far. A showdown with England awaits.
Ireland 44, Romania 10: The Irish laid waste to a second consecutive lower-tier sideÂ and now have outscored theirÂ World Cup opponents by a combined score of 94-17. Ireland touched down six tries Sunday and never was tested, while the highlight of the day for Romania came after the final whistle.
Thumbnail photo viaÂ Twitter/@TelegraphRugby