Gregor Townsend wants no mistakes when Scotland host Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday.
The hosts suffered defeat to South Africa last time out and the head coach doesn’t want a repeat of the 2019 World Cup, when Japan shocked Scotland. “I expect a similar challenge to the one they presented us two years ago. I coached the team that day and I was part of the Lions coaching staff in the summer and they played very well the more they got into the game, especially in the second half,” he said in the lead-up to the game.
“They’ll be better for having spent time together and having had three Test matches over the past month. We’re going to see their best performance of the campaign, that’s for sure. It’s up to us to deliver our best performance on the other side.”
Stuart Hogg equalled the all-time record for scoring tries with the national team last weekend and will look to set the record outright this time out – hopefully in victory this time, after he was unable to enjoy the experience against the Springboks due to the eventual result.
Scotland have already hammered Tonga and narrowly beat Australia, before their defeat last week.
Follow live updates, build-up, analysis and reaction from Twickenham in this colossal match-up
Scotland 5-6 Japan, 27 minutes
Where’s Stuart Hogg going? The Scotland captain scythes through a great chasm in a chasing Japanese line and bursts between the bodies into the visitors’ backfield. Quick ball and on Scotland go, making more metres up the middle as Japan struggle to reset.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 13:29
PENALTY! Scotland 5-6 JAPAN (Rikiya Matsuda penalty, 25 minutes)
A cleaner stroke over the top of the tee from Rikiya Matsuda and Japan are into a not underserved lead.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 13:28
Scotland 5-3 Japan, 24 minutes
Wing against prop and that isn’t going to end well for Scotland! Kotaro Matsushima picks out Zander Fagerson toiling in the open pasture and runs right around the tighthead, Fagerson chugging along in vain to try and stay with Matsushima but in the end not within sniffing distance.
Matushima nearly dances past the last defender but Stuart Hogg gets enough of an arm to his thigh to slow the Clermont Auvergne flyer, but Scotland are again penalised for a tackler rolling away incorrectly as Japan look to build an attack. For a third time the tee is called for – this is the simplest of the lot.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 13:27
Scotland 5-3 Japan, 23 minutes
A touch harsh? George Turner’s throw drifts ever so slightly off-line but there is no room for error in the minds of the officials – the slanted throw took it out of leaping Japanese hands and it will be a scrum to the visitors.
The set-piece is stable and Japan thread a diagonal grubber inside the Scotland 22.
Scotland play quickly! Plenty of adventure in this first half from both sides but the hosts do eventually clear.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 13:25
Scotland 5-3 Japan, 22 minutes
Japan attack from a lineout on the right and pass the ball along the line, a little short of accuracy but still able to get it to the edge even as Chris Harris gives Kotaro Matsushima a healthy tonking.
Siosaia Fifita busts out of one tackle but then finds another offload fail to find safe inside hands. Indeed, the wing was in touch, anyway – Scotland lineout.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 13:24
Scotland 5-3 Japan, 19 minutes
Outstanding covering defence from Rikiya Matsuda! Scotland drive well and draw in the Japan defence, the home side playing away at the right time and plenty of options presenting themselves. Sam Johnson feigns a carry and dabs a lovely little grubber though for Chris Harris to chase, and but for some superb scooting across to gather it ahead of the centre from Matsuda, Harris would have scored beneath the posts. Sharp work from the fly-half, who then allows his side to clear with more fleet footwork.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 13:22
Scotland 5-3 Japan, 18 minutes
Statement at the scrum! Scotland struggled a touch last week but Jamie Bhatti, making his first Scotland start since August 2019, gets a nudge on Asaeli Ai Valu and draws the penalty from Brendon Pickerill. Scotland back inside the Japan 22 with Finn Russell’s banana-style touch-finder.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 13:21
Scotland 5-3 Japan, 16 minutes
That’s a delicious pass! Scotland kick the 22 dropout long and Japan bring it back, playing to width down the left once more. Shogo Nakano produces a majestic fizzed miss ball out to Siosaia Fifita as he is clattered by a tackler, Fifita charging on and getting a nifty offload inside as he is driven out.
Unfortunately, a knock-on from captain Lappies Labuschagne ends a promising attacking movement. Some pass from the very talented Nakano, though.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 13:20
Missed Penalty! Scotland 5-3 Japan (15 minutes)
That’s not particularly pleasant. Like a sliced five-iron approach, this starts online but very quickly skews right in the ugly flight of a wounded duck. Matsuda slaps his hands in frustration. Not one of his better kicks at goal.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 13:18
Scotland 5-3 Japan, 14 minutes
Japan will attack from just outside the Scotland 22. Siosaia Fifita, all seventeen and a bit stone of him, is asked to carry from his blindside wing, and he makes a decent dent, before Scotland are again whistled at the ruck. Hamish Watson is legal in his pilferin attempt but Chris Harris is not, lying on the wrong side and disrupting the Japan clearout. Rikiya Matsuda again gestures to the touchline for the tee…
Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 13:16