Sep 27, 2015 at 2.30pm UK at ​Elland Road
Scotland
39-16
USA
Visser (42'), Maitland (47'), Nel (54'), Scott (65'), Weir (79')
FT

Scotland winger Sean Maitland: 'We let ourselves down in first half'

Winger Sean Maitland tells Sports Mole that Scotland let themselves down in the first half against the USA and must start quicker against South Africa next weekend.

Winger Sean Maitland has admitted that Scotland were not good enough in the first half of their Rugby World Cup Pool B contest against USA in Leeds on Sunday.

For the second match in a row, Vern Cotter's side romped to victory with 33 second-half points, but it was the States who led by seven at the interval.

Sports Mole spoke to Maitland after the match and he said that they let themselves down in the first 40 minutes.

Sean Maitland of Scotland makes a break during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between Scotland and USA at Elland Road on September 27, 2015© Getty Images

"Just like in the Japan game, we let ourselves down in the first half and our mistakes kept them in the game," he said.

"We got told at half time just to keep calm, we were only seven points behind. We've all been in these situations before and it just shows that simple rugby works like it did when in the second half when it clicked."

With a maximum 10 points out of 10 from their first two matches at the tournament, Scotland are top of Pool B and next face group favourites South Africa, who are on seven points with a win and a loss to their name, in Newcastle on Saturday.

Maitland, whose second-half try was the 100th of the tournament, feels that he and his teammates must start better if they are to have any chance of upsetting the Springboks.

Sean Maitland of Scotland scores a try during the Rugby World Cup Pool B contest against the USA at Elland Road on September 27, 2015© Getty Images

He added: "They'll be looking at both of our games and saying that Scotland are vulnerable in the first half. But we know we have to fix that because against South Africa, and Samoa (in the last group game) as well, if we start slowly we'll get punished."

After being stunned by Japan in the first Pool B contest, South Africa roared back to form with a convincing 46-6 victory over Samoa in Birmingham yesterday.

Speaking about the Boks' win, New Zealand-born Maitland added: "Yeah we watched it. Obviously after that first game they got a bit of a wake-up call. A lot of pressure was put on them but they played awesome. If we start slowly against them we'll get pumped."

Today's victory was just the third time in their history that Scotland have recovered from a half-time deficit to triumph in a World Cup contest.

Sean Maitland (R) of Scotland celebrates scoring his teams second try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between Scotland and USA at Elland Road on September 27, 2015
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