Scotland not taking Japan for granted

Date published: November 8 2013

Losing to Tonga for the first time a year ago means Scotland will not take Japan lightly before Saturday's clash at Murrayfield.

The memory of losing to Tonga for the first time a year ago in Aberdeen ensures Scotland isn't taking Japan for granted before Saturday's clash at Murrayfield.

There are similarities between the matches. Scotland is at home, and heavily favored against a second-tier opponent it has never lost to.

Andy Robinson quit as coach after the 21-15 loss to Tonga, and Scotland rebounded to finish third in the Six Nations. But the Scots don't want to fall so far again.

“We saw last year at Pittodrie (Stadium) what can happen if you don't take these games seriously enough,” said Scotland midfielder Matt Scott.

“We don't want that happening to us again. We recovered pretty quickly from that Tonga defeat and did well in the Six Nations.

“But the feeling of that day is still ingrained in everybody's memory. It wasn't a pleasant experience at all and it's not something I want to be repeating.

“Johnno (coach Scott Johnson) has told us to play each Test like it's our last. Japan are a quality side and we can't take them lightly.

“OK, they are an emerging nation but they have beaten the likes of Fiji and the United States, good teams. They will be targeting us for a win and will be a very dangerous side.”

The match-up also gives them the chance to size up the other before they probably meet in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Japan have yet to qualify, but is expected to join Scotland's pool, which includes the Springboks, who arrive next week.

“This is a huge chance for us to put down a marker ahead of the World Cup,” explained Scotland wing Tommy Seymour.

“We want to make sure that come the tournament, we have confidence going in against those teams.

“We know that 22 months down line we will face them again and we want to let them know what is coming.

“Japan are first up and they are not the minnows some people would have you believe. Not at all.

“It would be very dangerous of us to think they will be anything less than a quality test nation who will give us a quality game.”

Seymour and lock Tim Swinson, who played in the summer quadrangular tournament in South Africa, are the only Scots who will make their first appearances at Murrayfield.