Scotland defence coach Matt Taylor has urged his side to maintain their aggression and cut out their errors in a bid to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.
Townsend’s side now face a Russia side that have lost both of their opening games, before a potentially decisive game against hosts Japan on October 13.
Regardless of Russia’s form, Taylor remains cautious and does not want to see his side repeat the same mistakes made against Ireland.
“The reality of where we are is it is knock-out now,” Taylor said, “Every game now is like a quarter-final.
“We have to turn up and play Russia with the right mindset and do a good professional job. Hopefully if we do that, we set ourselves up for a really good game against Japan.
“I will be very disappointed if we don’t show the same aggression and mindset [as against Samoa] because we know if we don’t show up, or put in a performance like we need to, we are out.
“We are back on the dance-floor, we are back in the competition, and we have to make sure we do it for the next two games.”
Taylor stresses rotation will be crucial
Just four days lie between Scotland’s game with Russia and their pivotal showdown with Japan that may ultimately decide who progresses to the last-eight.
With this in mind, Scotland could put out two entirely different lineups in a bid to get a head-start on their Japan preparations.
“We have to get the training right, the balance, the strategy, the players right. We’ve got to get a lot of things right because it’s not a normal two weeks,” Taylor said.