“I was delighted personally to come back and play here at Kingsholm, I told the boys during the week what a special rugby ground it is – once again it proved that”, added Laidlaw, who moved to Gloucester last season.
But that was as close as they got to beating the Scots for the first time, as the Japanese lost some inspiration when their best performer, Mafi, had to be carried off, and they exhausted from only a four-day turnaround.
Eddie Jones, the Japan coach, had claimed on the eve of the game that his own team were fitter.
Scotland “get outscored consistently in the second half”.
Scotland turned in a dominant second-half display in Gloucester, running in five tries to secure the bonus-point to leave them well placed in Pool B after just one game.
“We are a fit team and I thought we did well and kept on running. Definitely”.
But Jones had a different assessment. There’s a great saying from an American [Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning]: “You only feel pressure when you don’t know what you’re doing”.
The Wallabies play Fiji at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff (1545 GMT) in the second game involving rivals from Pool A, the toughest in the tournament which also features England and Wales. “Scotland are one of the most established countries in world rugby”.
Laidlaw kicked Scotland 6-0 in front with two penalties but it was Japan who scored the opening try of the game 14 minutes in.
“All the pressure is on Scotland”. They played really well on Saturday but we were always aware of how good they are.
“What happened against Japan just wasn’t good enough”.
“Nobody fears us anymore”. Samoa then have to back up seven days later against us.
Habana admitted the Boks had vastly under-estimated the Japanese threat. “If we’re in the game at half-time, we’ll run them off their feet”. After scoring Japan’s only try with a strong driving run in the 15th minute, he was taken off on a stretcher early in the second half after receiving treatment on the field for several minutes.
“Scotland are coming into it with flawless preparation”. But we have spent the last two and a half months training for this game.
“I think South Africa will really bounce”, said Jones, who believes South African scrum-half du Preez will be their key man. I’m not Scottish but my parents are and I love having them involved so it is a little disappointing.
But Jones thinks his side will be able to call on the support of the local population on Wednesday.