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Scotland makes no mistake at RWC with 45-10 win over Japan

5 tries in second-half onslaught power Scotland through new Rugby World Cup faves Japan 45-10

Scotland makes no mistake at RWC with 45-10 win over Japan

GLOUCESTER, England (AP) -- Scotland made no mistake in its Rugby World Cup opener against Japan, scoring five tries in a second-half onslaught to win 45-10 on Wednesday.

Center Mark Bennett led the way with two, while flanker John Hardie, right winger Tommy Seymour, and flyhalf Finn Russell got the others.

Japan shocked the world of sport last weekend by beating the Springboks 34-32, and after 15 minutes the Brave Blossoms led 7-6 thanks to No. 8 Amanaki Mafi's try.

But that was as close as they got to beating the Scots for the first time, as the Japanese lost some inspiration when their best performer, Mafi, had to be carried off, and they tired from only a four-day turnaround.

The Scots carved gaps in midfield and punched holes through a Japanese defense that resembled wilting blossoms.

Many of the fans at Gloucester's compact Kingsholm Stadium were decked out in cherry-and-white jerseys -- the local colors and Japan's -- and most of the support was for the underdogs.

But Japan wasn't sharp as it was against South Africa, and kept giving away penalties. Laidlaw kicked over four penalties from five attempts to put trhem 12-7 ahead at the interval.

The tries from Hardie and Bennett from attacks down the left flank, gave Scotland the cushion of a 24-10 lead after Mafi went off injured.

Japan kept attacking, refusing to kick penalties, and in their frantic desperation to close the gap, more mistakes crept in.

The game was effectively over when Seymour intercepted a carless pass thrown blindly and ran almost the length of the field for a converted try for 31-10 with 15 minutes to play.

The relief in the Scotland side at a job well done was evident as fullback Stuart Hogg pumped his clenched fist toward a section of Scottish fans as he came off near the end.

There was more to cheer for the pockets of flag-waving Scots, when Bennett cut inside for the team's fourth bonus-point try, and his second of the match, sealed with an emphatic leap.

Russell, who had an impressive match, got his name on the ever-growing try-scorers list, picking up a feed some 10 meters out and side-stepping his way under the crossbar.

Updated : 2021-05-17 13:15 GMT+08:00