Japan 13-26 Scotland: Vern Cotter’s men get their series off too positive start against Brave Blossoms
Scotland won the first of their two summer Tests against Japan with a workmanlike performance in Toyota City
Shota Horie got the opening try for the Cherry Blossoms but the Scots were ahead by half-time
Captain Greig Laidlaw’s impeccable kicking was crucial, scoring 16 of the 26 points
Captain Greig Laidlaw kicked 16 points as Scotland overcame Japan to clinch a 26-13 victory in the opening Test in Toyota City.
Captain Greig Laidlaw kicked four penalties and added two conversions for the visitors, who inflicted Japan’s only loss of their astonishing World Cup effort under Eddie Jones last year.
“It was a good win,” Laidlaw told reporters. “We probably need to tighten up a little bit more and be more accurate.
“We let Japan off the hook a little bit in the second half,” he added. “But we’re here to win two games so we will look to improve for next week.”
Japan stunned mighty South Africa in their opening game at the World Cup but, after a four-day turnaround, Scotland took the wind out of their sails with a crushing 45-10 win in their next match.
Japan: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Mifiposeti Paea, 13 Tim Bennetts, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Shokei Kin, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Naohiro Kotaki, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Kotaro Yatabe, 20 Hiroki Yamamoto, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Kosei Ono, 23 Rikiya Matsuda
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Damien Hoyland, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Hardie, 6 John Barclay, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Alasdair Dickinson
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Moray Low, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 David Denton, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Maitland
Date: Saturday, June 18
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-off: 19:20 local (10:20 GMT)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Marius Mitrea (Italy), Brendan Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)