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RUGBY UNION: A tight squeeze, Scotland.

CAPTAIN Bryan Redpath paid tribute to his team as Scotland snatched a late 22-20 win over Fiji in their final Pool B game to book a place in the quarter-finals cof the Rugby World Cup.

The Scots looked to be on their way home as they trailed 20-15 with two minutes to go but Lions prop Tom Smith crept over for the crucial score.

Fiji winger Rupeni Caucau stunned Scotland with two first-half tries and the South Sea Islanders appeared to be heading towards a famous victory before Smith's late intervention.

"It was very close." admitted Redpath. "It shows you have to dig deep in games like this but credit to Fiji, they got two opportunities in the first half and that man Caucau just killed us.

"He is one of the best wingers in the world, no question. We lost a bit of rhythm at times.

Fly-half Chris Paterson, who converted Smith's try to give Scotland the outright lead - although a draw would have been good enough - and he admitted they had been rocked by Fiji's early blast.

"That was too close. We dug in and fought so hard but with two minutes to spare we were able to nip over," he said.

"The team has been under massive pressure; we were written off entirely by everyone apart from us and our supporters but we came good. We are just thoroughly delighted to be staying here and not going home yet."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 1, 2003
Words:242
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