Scotland ready for ‘confident’ Japan

Date published: September 21 2015

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Scotland forward Ryan Wilson said that the squad were "as shocked as everyone" to see Pool B rivals Japan down South Africa.

Wilson and Scotland will face the Brave Blossoms this Wednesday at Kingsholm.

"We watched it, we knew how good they would be, that they are a well-drilled outfit, but we're as shocked as everyone. It's South Africa in their opening game and you expect them to come out all guns blazing, and they didn't," he said.

"Their lineout went well, their scrum went well, they maybe only made three handling errors the whole game. They limited penalties, they just played the all-round good game.

"They kept the pressure on and I think they shocked South Africa as well."

Wilson added that while the result had been a surprise, it hadn't changed any of Scotland's prepartions for their first World Cup match.

"I don't think it has changed anything at all. No less, no more pressure. The biggest game for us is always the next one. We  go into it knowing they are going to be a tough team to break down," he explained.

"They will have been really sore on Sunday, I can guarantee that. But then again they have a game under their belt, a win against South Africa. The confidence does you a lot of good, so there are different aspects.

"I read Dent's (David Denton) tweet saying 'hopefully they go out and have a few beers in Brighton', which made me chuckle, but I'm sure they won't be doing that. But they will be doing everything they can to get ready for the game.

"I think the short turnaround time will help them in some ways. Yes, there will be some beat-up bodies but they will rotate. I've played against South Africa and I came out with a dislocated shoulder – I know how it feels."

The Glasgow Warriors forward outlined where Scotland hope to do better than the Springboks against Japan, along with the importance of not allowing Eddie Jones' side to go through the phases when in possession.

"In any game of 80 minutes it's hard to concentrate every moment, so we'll be looking to break them down and keep our skillset. South Africa helped them, giving so many penalties. We will be looking to keep that as low as possible, play in the right areas of the pitch," he said.

"They are good at low chop tackles so it's a case of a bit of footwork, a little bit of evasion, maybe a little tip-on. We know how we are going to play these guys, we've been training for this game a long time now.  

"We've spoken about them, we've said they are very accurate on the first three phases of set piece, but what impressed us most on Saturday was that they carried that on afterwards, and they were still accurate for five, six, seven or eight phases after. That was one thing we looked at last night which we thought they have definitely improved.  We have to counteract that.

"We'll be looking to get quick ball off these guys, that's how we break teams down, and looking to play in the right areas." 

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