Scotland gave “a true reflection” of their abilities at last in this World Cup as head coach Gregor Townsend took responsibility for their failings against Ireland and deferred credit for their 34-0 success against Samoa in Kobe.
In the warm-up – a laughable term on this particular occasion - before the game in the Kobe-Misaki Stadium it was impossible not to notice Jamie Ritchie.
Sean Maitland thought he had gone too early into his dive for Scotland’s fourth and crucial try against Samoa, not realising the difference between Japanese and British turf.
Scotland got what they needed in the oven of the Kobe-Misaki Stadium, but only just as two second-half penalty tries secured the necessary bonus point against Samoa to keep their Rugby World Cup hopes alive.
Japan’s monumental victory over Ireland in Shizuoka on Saturday exploded a bomb underneath Pool A and at first glance made Scotland’s potential progress to the quarter-finals much more difficult – even, in some people’s view, “essentially eliminated” them.
Scotland have “done the numbers” on their path to the quarter-finals after Japan’s shock victory over Ireland but won’t go chasing bonuses before games are won, vowed captain Stuart McInally.
Scotland have made four changes in addition to the one enforced by Hamish Watson’s injury and Gregor Townsend senses that the team are set to bounce back from the crushing disappointment of the defeat to Ireland.
Sean Lamont has had this feeling before, and he’s certain that there will be a reaction for Scotland as they play a must-win game against Samoa.
The Scotland fan reaction to this World Cup seems to be more acute depending on where you are.
George Horne never thought of himself as third in line for the No 9 shirt for Scotland in this World Cup and now he gets the chance to prove he’s a whole lot more.