Parks on the money as dogged Scots see off Georgia
Published 15/09/2011 | 05:00
Georgia had certainly been on Scotland's mind ever since their own laboured win over Romania, but they managed to avoid mishap at a rain-swept Rugby Park in Invercargill.
Their superiority was greater than the 15-6 scoreline would suggest. There was far more control and authority in Scotland's play than there had been last Saturday, but the fact that there were no tries scored shows that, even though they are unbeaten, they are far from an irresistible force.
Scotland's attack was fractured, their ambition limited. Tighthead prop Euan Murray was impressive as was back-row forward, Kelly Brown.
They now have a 10-day break before taking on Argentina in Wellington in a match that could well decide one of the two qualifiers from Pool B.
Georgia had plenty of enthusiasm to offer, but could not get enough of a territorial foothold to launch anything of meaning in attack.
They were warned for persistent infringements by referee George Clancy, illustrating just how stretched they were at times. They conceded 14 penalties in all.
All Scotland's points came from the boot of fly-half Dan Parks, who landed four penalty goals and a dropped goal. Fly-half Merab Kvirikashvili scored two penalties for Georgia.
In yesterday's earlier games Polynesian neighbours Samoa and Tonga experienced mixed fortunes.
Giant winger Alesana Tuilagi collected a hat-trick among Samoa's six tries in a 49-12 win over Namibia, but it was Canada's see-sawing 25-20 victory to inflict Tonga's second loss in five days that provided the event with its most thrilling result so far.
After leading 10-0, Canada conceded 20 of the next 23 points before scoring two late tries.
Having lost to New Zealand in Friday's tournament opener, Tonga's hopes of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time look to be over.
Meanwhile, Andrew Sheridan, the England prop, says he fears for his playing career after learning that his World Cup is over because of yet another injury setback.
Sheridan flew back to London from New Zealand after scans on his left shoulder following England's 13-9 victory over Argentina revealed a muscle tear.
The Sale Sharks prop had already recovered admirably from reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder, including an operation to shorten his bicep, to make England's World Cup squad.
Now the 31-year-old will see a surgeon to determine whether this latest setback requires further surgery or physio work amid fears that his future career may now be in doubt.
"Of course there are concerns for the future," said Sheridan. "If I do need another operation then that will be four in two years on my shoulders. But I'll just have to wait and see what the surgeon says."
Scotland -- R Lamont (C Paterson 72); M Evans, N De Luca, G Morrison, S Lamont; D Parks, R Lawson (Capt); A Jacobsen, R Ford, E Murray, N Hines (R Gray 72), J Hamilton, A Strokosch, R Rennie, K Brown.