It is hard to imagine them overcoming such a deficit against Samoa, and as a result they will have to hammer the U.S. in their final pool game, collecting a bonus point in the process.
Although Japan are now ahead of Scotland in the world rankings, they’re still regarded as pretty much the underdog but Ford hopes that the neutral locals in the sell-out Kingsholm crowd won’t go get wholesale behind the giant-killers.
‘I wouldn’t say that we won convincingly. “‘I did feel they were tiring”, he said.
“We are very happy to get the win, get started”, he said. The courageous Blossoms are again underdogs in Gloucester, and they certainly aren’t going to sneak up on the Scots, but Eddie Jones’ team has certainly proven it belongs.
“We were lucky enough to be at the game and saw Japan play exceptionally well”, Taylor said.
Just as first-half time expired, Japan’s full-back Ayumu Goromaru made the tackle of the tournament, to deny Tommy Seymour who looked to be all but over in the corner.
“Greig is accurate in what he does and he punished them very clinically for their mistakes”, said Cotter.
“We are a group that will just focus on our own games to make sure the work over the last few years pays off”, added the 43-year-old Australian.
They may be battered and bruised following that Brighton bombshell, while Scotland have yet to take to the field at England 2015.
Scotland are 5/8 to win by 13 points or more but Japan are taking no notice of those odds and Jones is confident his side can take another high-profile scalp.
Forced into a ridiculous four-day turnaround and with potential match victor Amanaki Leilei Mafi stretchered off in the 44th minute, Japan played bravely but were never able to repeat the magic of their historic win over South Africa on the opening weekend.
“I know that at the start of the tournament they were really targeting the Scotland match as one that they thought they could win, so there will be a strong plan in place to try to make that happen”.
Laidlaw’s flawless kicking nailed two more penalties and when Kotaro Matsushima was sin-binned for playing the ball on the ground as Scotland countered, momentum should have built.
“Are we fitter? Definitely”.
South Africa had even hinted it would be prepared to step in as replacement hosts, an offer almost certainly killed off by Karne Hesketh’s injury-time match- winning try.