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Scotland not surprised by Japan

2015-09-22 17:09

Gloucester - Scotland were impressed by Japan's performance in their stunning upset win over South Africa but were not surprised by the team they face in their Rugby World Cup Pool B opener on Wednesday.

The Japanese moved above Scotland in the world rankings following their momentous victory in Brighton.

"We've been watching Japan for a long time and we always knew they were an exceptional side," Scotland assistant coach Matt Taylor told reporters on Tuesday.

"They have good players across the board, and they are well coached, well conditioned and that was a great result for them.

"They have some really good forward carriers. They have players off the bench who pick and go really well. (Amanaki) Mafi at 8 is a very good player as is (Hendrik) Tui and (Michael) Leitch is another dangerous player in the back row."

Taylor said the world rankings would count for nothing in deciding the match.

"From our point of view there are two even teams playing tomorrow and it will be the one that can execute and play the whole 80 minutes that will come out on top," he said.

"We've been waiting for this opportunity for four years and for the last six to eight weeks all our focus has been on Japan.

"We've been preparing really well and look good in terms of fitness. The captain's run went really well and we look really focused."

Japan coach Eddie Jones has made no secret of his confidence that his side can beat Scotland.

"Eddie believes his team will come out on top, but we have our own beliefs," Taylor said.

"We will be concentrating on playing from the first minute. We haven't talked about Eddie in the squad. We've discussed their players and tactics but not about Eddie at all."

Scotland hooker Ross Ford said Japan's win over the Springboks had not changed his team's mindset.

"We are still going in confident. Pre-season has been really good for us. We have developed our game massively since the Six Nations and since the warm-up games," Ford said.

"We go into this game knowing what needs to be done and areas where we can exploit Japan. We still confident in our own ability.

"You always want to get off to a good start and it so happens that this is the game we're diving into."

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