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The Russian pack struggled with their scrums in the first half of Thursday's World Cup game against the USA, and captain and hooker Vladislav Korshunov said the problem was, in part, the fact they couldn’t understand referee Dave Pearson.

USA captain Todd Clever agreed, saying Pearson spoke softly in the first half when counting in the engagement, and several times he had to ask the referee to speak more loudly.

Apparently that worked in Russia’s favor as Russia looked far stronger in the scrum in the second half.