Scots showed ‘true picture’ in Samoa win, says Townsend

Scotland claimed a morale boosting win in Kobe

Scotland showed “a true picture” of themselves in the 34-0 defeat of Samoa in their second World Cup pool match, says Gregor Townsend.

The Scots recovered from a 27-3 opening loss to Ireland with a bonus-point victory against the Pacific Islanders in Kobe.

Townsend’s side next play Russia in Pool A on 9 October before taking on hosts Japan four days later.

“They showed who they are,” the head coach told BBC Scotland.

“Showed through their courage, their energy they brought and the pressure they put on a very good team. That’s a true picture of ourselves. Last week wasn’t, for whatever reason.

“It was hard work. These are big men we’re up against, you have to hit them hard. Our pressure told. First half was an excellent performance. We stuck to our task and were delighted to get the maximum points.”

Townsend was asked if his players should now be “energised” after moving to within a point of Ireland and four of pool leaders Japan.

“They should be,” he replied. “There’s no better feeling than coming back from adversity or rising to a challenge with your mates and delivering.

“They deserve the two or three days off that they’re going to get now. It’s just over a week until our next game but 10 days really focused for the Russia and the Japan games.”

After Japan’s shock victory against Ireland on Saturday, Scotland face a scenario in which they could go out of the tournament even with three wins from four pool matches.

Japan themselves are the only country in World Cup history to have won three pool matches and not progressed to the quarter-finals, as happened four years ago in England.

Scotland therefore need to beat Russia then Japan with a bonus point, and deny the hosts any points in their final pool clash to give themselves the best chance of progression.

“Japan and Ireland are still favourites to get out of the pool,” Townsend said.

“We have to win our next two games and get at least one bonus, potentially two. We knew the rules coming in. The challenge is there. If it means having to score four tries and deny Japan a bonus point then it is an even bigger challenge.”

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