Winger Darcy Graham scores four tries as Scotland keep their last-eight hopes alive with a bonus-point 84-0 win against Romania in Pool B at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Saturday, 30 September.
Darcy Graham bagged four tries as Scotland set-up a Pool B decider with Ireland after claiming a 84-0 victory over Romania at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille.
Flanker Hamish Watson, scrum-half Ali Price and winger Graham all struck inside the first 21 minutes. Graham then completed his try treble and number eight Matt Fagerson added another, as Romania were made to pay with three players all heading to the sin-bin in quick succession to trail 42-0 at half-time.
Full-back Ollie Smith’s 65-metre run was the pick of Scotland’s six second-half tries, with Graham rounding off the scoring. Fly-half Ben Healy also grabbed a try in a 27-point haul on his Rugby World Cup debut after switching allegiance from Ireland, who Scotland must beat in Paris on 7 October – and likely deny the world’s number one team a bonus point – if they want to snatch a quarter-final spot.
Graham, the Mastercard Player of the Match, said of the Ireland match-up: “We were waiting for this game to get out of the way. We go to Paris all guns blazing and put on our best performance, time to rest up and kick on next week.”
Captain Grant Gilchrist paid tribute to the Scotland players who had been brought into the side for the Romania game, saying it would make team selection difficult for the Ireland match: “It’s up to the coaches to put the team together [for Ireland] but a lot of the guys put their hands up today and were outstanding. We know what awaits us next week, it is hugely exciting.”
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend was pleased with his side’s performance against Romania, saying: “Our intent to work hard was right there from the beginning and was carried on throughout the game. Romania were very physical, it was tough conditions with the wet ball. We managed the physicality and we kept the performance going.”
Townsend, though, knows a bigger challenge lies ahead in the shape of Ireland, adding: “We will sit down tomorrow night and discuss selection. But this gives us really good momentum going into a training week ahead of our biggest game of the World Cup. It’s a credit to the 23 tonight who have trained and played well.”
Romania second-row Adrian Motoc said: “It was a tough game. Like the first two games, we tried our best for the first 20 minutes. Then we started getting tired, made too many mistakes, yellow cards, it was very tough for the team to play with 12 guys.”
With Tonga still to play, Romania head coach Eugen Apjok feels they can still claim a first win of Rugby World Cup 2023 but said: “First of all, we need to learn a lot of things from the first three games we have played. The players need to be more professional and work harder on our fitness levels. After that, the level of everything else will go up.” – WORLD RUGBY