HAMAMATSU – Part one of Scotland's four-day World Cup survival plan has been achieved and the comparative ease with which they saw off Russia should fill coach Gregor Townsend with confidence ahead of Sunday's showdown with Japan in Yokohama.
Scotland ran in nine tries to secure a bonus point in their 61-0 Pool A victory at Shizuoka Stadium on Wednesday, a result achieved with a mostly second-string starting 15.
While there are a myriad of permutations around bonus points, head-to-head records and points differential, the simple fact is that Townsend's team need to beat the hosts on Sunday if they are to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
Russia had proved tough to break down in their three previous group matches at the World Cup but Scotland went through them with ease. They were patient, well drilled, tactically astute and seized on their scoring opportunities.
By halftime, Scotland already had three of the four tries they needed to secure the crucial bonus point and captain John Barclay said he knew the fourth would come if they kept building pressure.