Scotland survive scare against Romania
INVERCARGILL, 10 Sept. - A resilient performance by Romania gave free-running Scotland a scare before two late tries handed the Scots a 34-24 victory in the opening Pool B match at Rugby Park Stadium on Saturday.
Scotland displayed their attacking intent from the start and scored two tries to take a 15-3 lead within 20 minutes.
But the hard-tackling Romanians refused to lie down and bounced back to 21-17 midway through the second half.
With 15 minutes remaining, a Romanian scrum 10m out steamrollered the Scots before number 8 Daniel Carpo crashed over. The conversion took the Romanians 24-21 clear.
Just before it was too late, the Scots backs slipped into gear again with two tries by wing Simon Danielli in the final five minutes that helped to spare their blushes.
Full back Chris Paterson, playing his 106th Test, had opened the scoring with a penalty in the second minute after Scotland ran the ball straight from kick-off.
A determination to keep the ball in hand on a chilly afternoon in Invercargill was rewarded six minutes later when scrum half Mike Blair touched down after a strong, weaving run by Danielli.
Paterson, who had a 100 per cent kicking record at RWC 2007, scuffed the conversion attempt when the ball appeared to fall off the tee and it barely got off the ground.
Centre Joe Ansbro scored Scotland's second try with a powerful jinking run after skipper Alastair Kellock spurned a penalty and opted for a scrum.
But fly half Danut Dumbrava kept Romania in touch with two successful penalties before prop Mihaita Alexandru Lazar crashed over for a try just before half-time to make it 18-11.
Scotland's attacking intent threatened to cost them dear after the interval. In the 48th minute Blair chose to tap and go when awarded a penalty within kicking range. The ball was fumbled in a subsequent maul and Romania were able to clear their lines.
The Oaks' willingness to concede penalties to stop the Scotland runners brought a warning from referee Dave Pearson and saw Paterson kick a penalty to make the score 21-11.
As Romania fought back, centre Tiberius Ionut Dimofte took over the kicking duties and Carpo's try put them into the lead before a Paterson penalty levelled the scores at 24-24.
With an upset on the cards, Danielli had to use all his power and guile to finally break The Oaks' defiance.