David Denton (Gallo Images)
Newcastle - Scotland are preparing for a Samoan backlash, according to backrower Dave Denton, with the outcome of the clash dictating if the Scots stay in contention.
Samoa have been stung by a disappointing World Cup and already have their tickets home booked after Saturday's final Pool B match.
That has left them with nothing to play for but national pride. That will be fuelled by memories of Samoa's first and only win over the Scots just two years ago.
But for the Scots, in a three-way race with South Africa and Japan for two qualifying berths from the pool, the game has a sudden-death feel as they need a victory to keep their hopes alive.
"For a lot of us this is going to be the biggest match of our careers," Denton said.
"We've essentially got a play-off game to get into the play-off. If we win we're into the quarter-finals, if we lose we're probably not."
Fellow loose forward Ryan Wilson put the game in a local perspective saying it was bigger than his Glasgow Warriors playing Munster to win last season's Pro12 final.
"The biggest game of my life was that game against Munster and this is just stepping that up one bit more. It is a huge game," he said.
Scotland have identified a need to get into top gear much faster after slipping to a 20-3 deficit to South Africa in their last match then twice recovering to get within seven points of the pool leaders before eventually losing 34-16.
Denton said the focus in training is to make an impact from the kickoff.
"We can't go into a game and let a team impose what they want to do on us, we need to do it the other way around, so for the coming weekend we need to impose our game on Samoa," he said.
"I think the difference we need in this game compared to our first three games, is we need to make sure we get a good first half. We need to come out of the blocks raring to go and not give them a foothold in the game."