Hogg stars as Scots down Romania

Scotland sidestepped a potential banana skin with a clinical 42-0 victory over Romania in their World Cup Pool C match at Murrayfield on Tuesday.

The Scots executed their game plan to near-perfection and largely kept the ball away from the Romanians’ ferocious pack.

They exploited the gaps well and ran in six converted tries, including a hat-trick from flanker Allister Hogg, to ensure themselves a valuable bonus point.

With two wins safely under their belt, Scotland are expected to rest some key players for the clash against New Zealand at Murrayfield on Sunday with the crucial match against Italy six days later in mind.

It is widely expected that the game against Italy in St Etienne will decide which team joins the mighty All Blacks in the quarterfinal stage from the group.

The Scots came into the game on the back of a 56-10 win over Portugal in their opener while Romania were considered unlucky to go down 18-24 to Italy.

Scotland made four changes from the team that beat Portugal, with winger Simon Webster being handed his first start at centre in place of Marcus Di Rollo, while Romania named the same 15 that pushed Italy all the way.

The Scots made the best possible start before a 31 222 crowd at a bitterly cold Murrayfield.

Flyhalf Dan Parks hoisted an up-and-under in the second minute, which winger Chris Paterson collected, kicked ahead and chased.

It looked as if he was going to lose the race with Catalin Fercu but the winger slipped and Paterson gratefully touched down for the opening try, which he converted for a 7-0 lead.

Scotland were dominating the match and turned their superiority into more points when Hogg touched down after a mighty push from a line-out. Paterson converted to make it 14-0.

The Scots were totally in command with Romania not threatening their line in the opening 30 minutes, but some sloppy handling brought a couple of promising moves to a premature end.

The home side virtually put the result beyond doubt with a superb try in the 36th minute.

Fullback Rory Lamont, scorer of two tries against Portugal, was on the end of a swift back line move that stretched the one-paced Romanians.

Paterson added the conversion for a 21-0 half-time lead.

Six minutes into the second half, Hogg went over for his second try after a charge down by Simon Taylor and a surge from scrumhalf Mike Blair, and the Edinburgh player completed a hat-trick of scores in the 51st minute.

Paterson converted both tries to push the score to 35-0.

A beautifully balanced run from Rory Lamont in the 71st minute saw him collect his second try and Scotland’s sixth with Paterson remaining perfect with the conversion.—AFP

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