'I thought I'd dived too early for bonus-point try' - Sean Maitland reflects on role in Scotland's vital Rugby World Cup win over Samoa

Sean Maitland admitted he thought he’d messed up Scotland’s chance for a bonus-point fourth try with six minutes left in their second Rugby World Cup match by diving for the line too early.

By Duncan Smith
Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 1:43 pm
Scotland wing Sean Maitland is challenged illegally by Samoa's Ed Fidow before he can touch down for Scotland's fourth try, which was awarded as a penalty try. Picture: Getty Images
Scotland wing Sean Maitland is challenged illegally by Samoa's Ed Fidow before he can touch down for Scotland's fourth try, which was awarded as a penalty try. Picture: Getty Images

Maitland seemed set for his second score of the night as he torpedoed in on the left-hand corner but had the ball dislodged, with what turned out to be a dangerous knee-first tackle by Ed Fidow, who was given a second yellow, and the penalty try got the Scots what they were desperately looking for in the second-half of th 34-0 rout of Samoa in Kobe.

“I slid in for the second try and thought I’d dived too early to be honest,” said the 31-year-old Saracens wing, who had scored the first try of the evening midway through the second half when he collected Finn Russell’s inch-perfect cross-field kick.

“It was only when I saw the replay that I thought ‘good, he didn’t use his arms and came off his knee’. I knew we were then looking at a penalty try,” added Maitland, who now has 12 tries in 43 caps.

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“Luckily we got the rewards with a bonus point. It was a bit of relief for me at that moment. But we would have probably scored anyway.”

Maitland conceded he misjudged the conditions by diving too early.

“Looking back I would do things a bit different,” he said.

“I thought I would slide in but the ground is like sandpaper. I’m not in the UK any more. It’s drier here but I was sweating.

“It was tough conditions, up there with the worst conditions I’ve played in. Definitely up there with when we played the Barbarians in 2013 for the Lions [in Hong Kong].

“I had to change jersey at half time... and shorts!”

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Follow Duncan Smith at the World Cup in Japan on Twitter @Duncan_Smith