Redpath will be covering this afternoon’s game for radio as Scotland open their World Cup campaign at Gloucester, where he started his coaching career in 2009. He just had the legs to evade a couple of Japanese defenders to touch down – Laidlaw converted for 31-10. You won’t really have much time to create you own fantasy team ahead of today’s game between Scotland and Japan, but there are other matches throughout the tournament.
“We had them locked down for the first 60 minutes but after that we sort of started to lose our composure and had some tries scored against us”, said Leitch.
Laidlaw quickly restored Scotland’s advantage with another pair of penalties before Japan had wing Kotaro Matsushima sin-binned for an illegal steal.
At one point, Jones called on Gloucester’s famously raucous crowd to get behind his team, who have become the sensation of this World Cup after their opening weekend win, inciting a bit of Home Nations rivalry in the process.
But their hopes of a second upset took a huge hit four minutes into the half, when Mafi was sadly stretchered off following a couple of storming runs.
All credit to Japan but I don’t think South Africa thought they would be so aggressive and organised in attack.
Scotland were denied what looked a certain scoring chance on the stroke of halftime but came out firing after the break and exploited a Japanese side clearly tired from Saturday’s marathon 34-32 win over the Springboks.
Following Japan’s heroics over South Africa, Scotland came into the match under enormous pressure – but it proved to be the kind of pressure it was able to deal with. “They guys are looking forward to putting in all their hard work over the last couple of years and in particular the last couple of months together and in put in a performance that the country can be proud of”.
“I think this Scottish side is the fittest we have ever been”. Pre-season has been really good for us. “We managed to do that, so from a team point of view we are delighted”.
Japan has 10 days off until its next Pool B game against Samoa at Milton Keynes.
Jones has moved to combat his side’s potential fatigue by making eight changes to the starting XV, which include Justin Ives replacing Hitosho Ono at lock, Amanki Mafi coming in for number eight Hendrik Tui and Harumichi Tatekawa playing at fly-half.
“You’ve just got to look at what Japan achieved”.
“I said we wouldn’t use that (tiredness) as an excuse and we are not”.