Scotland wait on news of Finn Russell’s ankle injury

Published: Monday 28th September 2015 by The News Editor

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Scotland fly-half Finn Russell should discover today whether he will be fit to face South Africa in a crucial World Cup Pool B encounter in Newcastle on Saturday.

The 23-year-old had to be helped from the field in the 59th minute of Scotland’s 39-16 win over the United States in Leeds on Sunday with an ankle injury and could be touch and go for the make-or-break matches against the Springboks and Samoa over the next two weekends.

His replacement Duncan Weir scored the Scots’ fifth and final try as they came from behind to beat the Eagles and secure the maximum 10 points from their opening two matches.

To lose Russell would be a severe blow however and coach Vern Cotter said after the match that he expected to find out the extent of the problem in the next 24 hours.

Lock Grant Gilchrist made an even earlier exit with what Cotter thought was an adductor injury, and he too will be assessed by Scotland’s medical team before a decision is made on his participation against the Boks.

Cotter felt the victory over the United States had been a real “test of character” for his team. On Wednesday they took on a Japan side still riding the wave from their stunning win over South Africa, and having passed that test found themselves in action again just four days later.

An error-strewn first half – summed up by Stuart Hogg’s dreadful pass to Tim Visser when a try looked certain – ended with Scotland 13-6 behind and in deep trouble against the US. However, an early second-half try from Visser eased the tension and they ran in four more tries from Sean Maitland, WP Nel, Matt Scott and Weir.

Cotter said: “We’re very happy to get the win and the bonus point. It was a game that was difficult to construct because it was a physical team in front of us.

“We weren’t particularly accurate in the first 40 but the score early in the second half got us back on track and we managed to build through what was a reasonably difficult day of rugby with a win.

“Hats off to the guys, they worked hard, it was a four-day turnaround so you’ve got to look at how we come out of it because in six days’ time there’s another game.”

Cotter hailed the performance of the US, who like Canada at the same venue a day earlier had given a good account of themselves.

“The (tier two nations) are getting better and better every year,” the New Zealander said.

“There are a few things to juggle up and try to get right, but luckily we dodged a banana skin and now we can build towards South Africa.”

Published: Monday 28th September 2015 by The News Editor

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