By Daniel Schofield for the Telegraph

With a bonus point wrapped inside 46 minutes, this was very much job done for the second-string Scotland side. Now the real task lies in wait against Japan in Yokohama on Sunday with a quarter-final place on the line.

The equation is relatively straightforward for Gregor Townsend's team. They must take at least four more match points than the hosts to reach the knockout stages – either 4-0 or 5-1 – and this performance will considerably swell their confidence of achieving that task.

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As sloppy as Russia were, Scotland were brutally clinical. Fly half Adam Hastings scored 26 points, including two tries, while half back partner George Horne registered a hat-trick of tries. For a team that had proved such obdurate opponents for Ireland and Japan, Russia were sliced apart by Scotland with surprising ease.


No player inflicted as much damage as Darcy Graham, the sole survivor from the side that beat Samoa 34-0 last week. The wing beat eight defenders and made 151 metres before he was wisely replaced by Townsend on 47 minutes. How Scotland will need his dancing feet against Japan.

Stuart McInally of Scotland scores his team's ninth try against Russia. Photo / Getty Images
Stuart McInally of Scotland scores his team's ninth try against Russia. Photo / Getty Images

Just as encouraging was a second successive shutout, a feat that was probably last achieved in the Edwardian era. They missed just three tackles on the night, a far cry from the defensive horror show of their 27-3 defeat against Ireland. Of course, Japan will represent a considerable step up in class but from Townsend's perspective as a final tune-up this could not have gone any better.

The opening try was straight off the training ground. After winning a scrum penalty in the Russian 22, Scotland opted for another scrum. Ryan Wilson picked up from the base, fed George Horne and with the Russian defence transfixed by Duncan Taylor's line, Hastings was able to glide between three would-be tacklers.

If that score was soft then their next two scores were gifts, complete with ribbons. Seizing on a loose ball, Graham found Hastings who recognising a lack of backfield kicked ahead. The fly half easily outpaced flanker Tagir Gadzhiev before Vasily Artemyev horribly misjudged the bounce of the ball in his own in-goal area.

Worse was to come for the Russians on 21 minutes. Winning lineout ball just in front of their own tryline, scrum half Dmitry Perov's long pass was easily picked off by George Horne. The Russians had taken an AK47 to both feet.

The upshot was that Townsend's team had 59 minutes to find that crucial fourth try. Maybe that bred a sense of complacency as Scotland's play suddenly became sloppy in the second quarter, not least when George Horne knocked on with Scotland camped on the Russian tryline. Like Ireland, Scotland had to settle for a 21-0 halftime lead.

Still they would not have to wait long for the bonus point and once again Russia were their own worst enemies. Perov's box kick was too long, the kick-chase was too ragged and Graham was too electric. The wing stepped and slided his way past several defenders before unselfishly providing the scoring pas to Horne.

From thereon in, Scotland appeared able to score at will. Hooker George Turner spun off the back of a maul to go over before wing Tommy Seymour latched on to Blair Kinghorn's perfectly weighted kick.


Horne got his third, benefiting from strong work by replacement Henry Pyrgos before John Barclay strolled past German Davydov who clearly did not fancy tackling the Scotland captain. The final flourish was added by replacement hooker Stuart McInally who finished a free-flowing counter-attack.

The only slight disappointment was Hastings' own third try was correctly ruled out for a forward pass, but that could not take the sheen off a polished performance. Now the real business can begin.