Gregor Townsend says Scotland have momentum to take into their crunch Rugby World Cup clash with Japan, but he expects the well-rested hosts to be prepared for the occasion.
Scotland’s 61-0 thrashing of Russia on Wednesday secured the first of the two bonus-point wins they need to guarantee a quarter-final spot.
Townsend’s men face the Brave Blossoms in Yokohama on Sunday to battle it out for a top-two finish in Pool A, but the home side will have had four days’ more rest than their rivals.
“That was hard work,” Townsend told BBC Radio Scotland after the victory over Russia.
“The scoreline might suggest it was one-sided but that first half was very competitive and we had to be really accurate and deliver a performance full of effort to get that scoreline.
“It does give us momentum but we know it’s a very quick turnaround. We get three clear days before we play; Japan have probably had seven or eight days, so they’ll be well prepared.”
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) October 9, 2019
Townsend made 14 changes for the match in Fukuroi, where George Horne scored a hat-trick and Adam Hastings chalked up 26 points in a nine-try rout.
The Scotland coach hopes that rotation policy will help his squad in their preparations for the weekend.
“Part of tonight was to share the load, but also bring players off the bench so they get a hit-out,” he said.
“It’s not great for your preparations for a game on Sunday if you’ve got a game on Wednesday, players don’t get to train today, so it was good to see some guys who may be starting against Japan get a run-out.”
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