Rugby World Cup: Cotter revels in Scots’ second-half fightback

Ross McLean
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Winger Tim Visser ignited Scotland’s second-half revival with an early try

SCOTLAND coach Vern Cotter hailed his side’s ability to conjure victory from the threat of defeat after the Dark Blues orchestrated a second-half fightback against the United States at Elland Road yesterday.

The Americans led 13-6 at half-time courtesy of a try from prop Titi Lamositele – the first time the United States had held an advantage over a tier-one nation at the break – before Scotland’s revival in the second period.

Wingers Tim Visser and Sean Maitland crossed the line, as did replacements WP Nel, Matt Scott and Duncan Weir as Scotland claimed a pivotal bonus point which saw them top Pool B ahead of resurgent South Africa in second place.

“We found a way to win. At seven points down at half-time we managed to turn things around in the second half and it shows that the players are finding a way,” said Cotter. “It’s a good test of character to be able to do that.

“I can’t remember what I said at half-time. When I got there the players were already talking about how they wanted to do things in the second half. We knew that even though the USA were in front we were still very much in the game.”

Scotland have now posted 30-plus points in three of their last four Tests, having previously failed to do so in seven, although their success was tarnished by injuries to influential fly-half Finn Russell and second-row Grant Gilchrist.

Cotter, whose side face South Africa at St James’s Park on Saturday, added: “We’ll have to wait 24 hours before we get anything on Finn and Grant as both players have knocks and bumps.”

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