Scotland prepared for a physical battle with Samoa

Ice man: Scotland prop Gordon Reid
Ice man: Scotland prop Gordon Reid
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Scotland prop Gordon Reid is convinced his team can out-muscle Samoa at St James’ Park on Saturday and book their place in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.

Reid is under no illusions over the threat posed by the Pacific islanders despite a poor run of results culminating in a heavy loss to Group B surprise package Japan last week.

That defeat left the Samoans with only pride to play for in Newcastle but Reid says his side will take nothing for granted and make sure their rigorous pre-tournament training pays off.

Reid said: “We know for sure that Samoa will come out with all guns blazing. Everyone is saying it’s a nothing match for them but they will be determined to finish on a high.

“They have a big physical pack who play straight rugby pretty similar to South Africa, so hopefully we will wear them down and our physicality will come through and get us the win.”

Reid made only his fourth Scotland start in their 34-16 defeat by the Springboks at the same venue last Saturday and is likely to return to the bench for the crucial Samoa test.

But he will hope he did enough to give coach Vern Cotter a selection dilemma after inspiring what was once again a vastly improved second-half performance against the group favourites.

It has been a trademark of Scotland’s campaign so far that they have fought back from sluggish starts and Reid is well aware his team cannot afford to continue to drop behind in the early stages.

Reid added: “The South Africa game was a very physical one and it was a good settler for the boys in terms of getting us in good stead for Samoa. But there are a lot of areas we have to look at, and we have to make sure we learn from last week and do some things differently to make sure they go right.

“We know it is not going to be easy. They are big and physical and they have beaten us before, but we will be fresh coming into the weekend and we will be ready.”