Gregor Townsend praised the effort of his players, and highlighted his half-backs and pack, as Scotland recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time in 55 years.
The 61-0 win over Russia follows a 34-0 result against Samoa and sets up a mouthwatering final Pool A meeting, and duel for the quarter-finals, against Japan at the International Stadium Yokohama in Sunday.
“The effort went into that scoreline, to put pressure on the Russian defence to open up spaces was huge from our players,” Townsend commented after their bonus-point victory.
“The first action lasted four minutes, 50 seconds I think which you don’t often see and you don’t see at the beginning of the game.
“It shows you the ambition that Russia came with, they moved the ball a lot. It stressed our defence but also created some turnovers for us that we exploited the longer that the game went on.”
George Horne became the first Scottish scrum-half to score a Test hat-trick while his half-back partner Adam Hastings, contributed 26 points through a brace and eight conversions. Naturally, the Dark Blues’ head coach was impressed with the duos’ work.
“They played with real confidence and speed so they were very busy. I think that Adam [Hastings] had a real balance to his game,” Townsend said.
“There were some excellent attacking kicks in the first half and George [Horne] had really good clearing kicks and they both worked very hard.
“It was a good game for them, they looked confident and fit and obviously scored a couple of tries.”
Scotland’s Rugby World Cup campaign started on the worst possible note – a 27-3 loss to Ireland. But since then they have regrouped well to deliver an aggregate scoreline of 95-0 over their next two matches.
“Credit to the players for [keeping Russia to nil] to keep going hard in defence and also to Matt Taylor as coach and I want to highlight Danny Wilson.
“In the last two games our forwards have delivered in a number of areas, especially around the set piece.
“We saw that Russia brought an excellent scrum, a very good maul and a physical group of forwards but I thought that our scrum was excellent.”