Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has described the decision to penalise Samoa for a squint feed at the scrum which led to Pool A-topping Japan getting a bonus-point win on Saturday as “an incredible call”.
It is an offence which is rarely picked up on these days but South African referee Jaco Peyper made the ruling in injury time and the hosts went on to get a fourth try which added a fresh layer of difficulty value in Scotland’s bid to reach the quarter-finals.
“I’m not really one that jumps out of the chair. I was watching everyone else’s reaction,” said Townsend, who was in the team room at the squad hotel in Kobe as the late drama played out in Japan’s 38-19 victory in Toyota.
“Look, I think it is an incredible call,” continued the coach.
“I’ve never seen a crooked feed call in a World Cup or Six Nations. It’s not something that’s been refereed and there’s an agreement there is more latitude for the scrum-half putting the ball into the scrum to because you are the team who has won the scrum.
“To see it in a World Cup really surprised me. To see it come in added on time was an even bigger surprise.
“It was a call I’ve not seen for a long time in the game.”
Scotland face Russia in Shizuoka on Wednesday and then Japan in Yokohama in Sunday. They will hope to take a bonus-point win from the penultimate game and then look to simply beat the hosts, who top Pool A with 14 points, while denying them a bonus point or defeat them with a bonus point and allow them no more than one.
Scotland centre Pete Horne, who will get his first taste of the 2019 World Cup when he starts against Russia on Wednesday, said: "I was probably one of the ones Gregor was talking about jumping out of my chair, going mad.
"But you put yourself in Samoa's shoes and they did not want to kick it out, they area proud country, a proud nation. They want to try to score and get a bonus point. The last thing they would have been thinking about was Scotland. What baffled me in the magnitude of that moment, was that the ref calls a squint feed. That was a tough one.
"But it is what it is, it's done now. there is no point in dwelling on it, we are fully focused on going out and beating Russia."
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