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Summary

  1. Pool B result: Scotland 45-10 Japan in Gloucester
  2. Scotland secure bonus point in their opening match
  3. Bennett (2), Russell, Hardie & Seymour second-half tries
  4. Amanaki Mafi try for Japan in first half
  5. Japan unable to repeat heroics of win over SA

Live Reporting

By Aimee Lewis

All times stated are UK

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Scotland 45-10 Japan

So there was to be no miracle in Gloucester, and the reaction of Japan's fans in Kingsholm differs muchly to the joyous scenes in Brighton on Saturday. 

But enough from Kingsholm because there's something brewing in Cardiff...

Japan fans
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Stats of the day

As we've mentioned, Scotland's tackling was a key factor in their win. A total of 192 tackles shows just how hard they worked to deny Japan another stunning World Cup victory. 

Scotland v Japan
BBC

Scotland's reliable set-pieces

Scotland 45-10 Japan

Scotland's stats from that match will make for happy reading for Vern Cotton and his coaching team. 

Scrums won: eight out of nine

Line-outs won: seven of eight

Rucks won: 66 of 66

But Japan enjoyed more possession (60%) and territory (64%) and who knows what could have happened had Amanaki Mafi not suffered an injury at the start of the second half. Scotland won't care a jot about that, though. 

Tackle, tackle, tackle

Scotland 45-10 Japan

Scotland's defence was brilliant in that match. They made an astonishing 192 tackles and missed only 10. Japan, in comparison, made 104 tackles and missed 16. 

John Hardie made the most tackles - 21 - and the flanker was superb in his support play. Bravo, Mr Hardie. 

John Hardie
AFP/GETTY

Player reaction

Scotland 45-10 Japan

Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw ended the match with 20 points and here's what he had to say: "Happy days with that result - but that is just the start hopefully for this team. We talked at length about playing for 80 minutes and we have done that today. I thought we were outstanding for the duration. They said if they were in game at half-time they could take us, so we were determined and outstanding.

"Credit to Japan though, they were awesome against South Africa and really tough opponents again today. That win against South Africa blew the group wide open and meant it was important for us to win today."

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As BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer says Finn Russell was an apprentice stonemason before he took rugby union seriously. Stonemasonry's loss though is Scotland's gain. The outside-half made a couple of eye-catching back-of-the-hand passes, and capped his birthday with a try. 

You can read more about Finn Russell the stonemason by clicking here. It's a nice read.

Cracking opening win, 45-10, for #SCOvJPN after 5th try to Finn Russell. He was trainee stonemason during last #rwc: bbc.in/1JpI1WG

Scotland 45-10 Japan

Gavin Hastings

Former Scotland full-back

"Scotland got the breakaway try through Tommy Seymour and that was a deflating try for the Japanese, who eventually ran out of steam. 

"If they had somehow managed to keep it going for longer it would have been closer, but once Scotland got that margin it allowed them to get further ahead. That and the lack of energy went against Japan. But there is no discredit to how Japan played - they were magnificent. 

"Scotland can be proud too. In my mind they have gone a long way to qualifying with that win. I think they will beat USA on Sunday and then target the South Africa match as one they can win too."

Scotland celebrate
PA

Full-time

Scotland 45-10 Japan

Five tries for Scotland, which earns Vern Cotton's men a bonus point and takes them to the top of Pool B. It was just 12-7 at half-time, but it ended as a convincing victory. 

Final score
BBC

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John Roberts: Haggis tonight.

John Butt: It has to be said, the Scots are lucky getting to play Japan in their first match after Japan beat SA just 4 days ago. Very lucky.

Matt McGladrigan: Great performance by the mighty Scots. Pressure on South Africa now!

Scotland 45-10 Japan

Amanaki Mafi is the man who made the most metres, though, coming in at number one in the charts with 103m made. The number eight was taken off on a stretcher a minute or two into the second half. Would Japan have been more of a threat had the number eight remained on the field? 

Tommy Seymour
BBC

Scotland 45-10 Japan

Gavin Hastings

Former Scotland full-back

"Japan dropped the ball and all the Scotland players were appealing to the referee but he obviously hadn't seen it. Then he stopped play when the ball was in Japan's possession."

Full-time

Scotland 45-10 Japan

Scotland have made an astonishing 180 tackles. "Come on, one last go, dig deep," screams Greig Laidlaw to his men. 

The TMO examines whether Michael Leitch had grounded the ball. But he didn't. Game over. Laidlaw and his men don't have to go again after all. 

Scotland 45-10 Japan

Michael Leitch attempts to dive over, but he's held up. The crowd groan...

Sean Maitland intercepts and canters down the wing, but he hasn't heard the referee's whistle. Poor guy, he's still sprinting... still sprinting... until finally he looks back and realises no-one else is celebrating. Play will be brought back near the Scottish tryline. 

Michael Leitch
Reuters

Scotland 45-10 Japan

But referee John Lacey has spotted something and has awarded Japan a scrum within sniffing distance of the whitewash. The eight forwards unmoved so Japan's backline spin it wide. 

Japan recycling possession... 15 phases... 16 phases... camped 5m from Scotland's tryline. A familiar scenario from Saturday, though it'll be a very different scoreline. 

Japan scrum
Getty Images

Scotland 45-10 Japan

Is there to be one last glory dash from Japan? They work their way into the Scottish 22, but Scotland turn over the ball. 

Hiroshi Yamashita
AFP/GETTY

Scotland 45-10 Japan

Gavin Hastings

Former Scotland full-back on BBC Radio 5 live

"It is turning into a very impressive Scotland performance. It took time to get breathing space but Japan are now very tired and very deflated. The Japanese were superb in their endeavour in the first 60 minutes but Scotland have been able to bring on their big guns and use their resources."

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Fergal O’Mullane: Regardless of the final result Japan are demonstrating their performance against SA wasn't a flash in the pan!

John M Butt:  This is cruel to Japan, SA then Scotland 4 days later when not every team has played their first game is a shocker fixture wise.

JP Cleary:  Is a 4 day turnaround fair for a team competing in the RWC? Would England accept game on Tuesday following a Friday night opener

Converted try - Russell; Laidlaw con

Scotland 45-10

Happy birthday Finn Russell! Japan's forward retreating in the scrum... Scotland make the most of it and it's Finn Russell who wriggles out of one tackle and scores under the posts. Greig Laidlaw could kick the conversion blindfolded, but he doesn't. Two points for the captain. 

Finn Russell
Getty Images

Scotland 38-10 Japan

Four days ago the men in cherry and white created history, dug into their deepest reserves to beat South Africa, so it is perhaps little surprise that they are tiring in these latter stages. 

Finn Russell and Matt Scott combining nicely. Scotland opt for a scrum within 7m or so from the opposition tryline. 

Scotland 38-10 Japan

There'll be no miracle in Kingsholm in Japan. Under 10 minutes to go and Japan having to withstand wave after wave of Scottish attack. 

Japan dejected
Reuters

Scotland 38-10 Japan

Gavin Hastings

Former Scotland full-back on BBC Radio 5 live

"Scotland are flying now. I think they've had a bit of luck on their side when Japan were really firing at them on all cylinders, but that was tremendous play.

"For the first time in this game you've seen Scotland really attacking the line and taking a leaf out of Japan's book.

"They have a chance to be really ruthless now."

Converted try - Bennett; Laidlaw con

Scotland 38-10 Japan

Scotland battering their way over the gainline once more... Mark Bennett into a phalanx of Japanese defenders, but the Scots retaining possession, going in search of that bonus point.   

Finn Russell puts Matt Scott into space, the centre is brought down but presents the ball nicely to his team-mates... 

Mark Bennett supporting once more and he breaks Japanese hearts, a 10m burst over the line. Greig Laidlaw adding more damage. 

Mark Bennett
Getty Images

Replacement - Maitland for Hogg

Scotland 31-10 Japan

Stuart Hogg forms a fist and punches the air as he departs the field, making way for Sean Maitland. The Scottish full-back clearly pleased with how the day has unfolded. 

Sean Maitland
AFP/GETTY

Scotland 31-10 Japan

Gavin Hastings

Former Scotland full-back on BBC Radio 5 live

"Tommy Seymour read that just beautifully. I have to say, that's certainly got this Kingsholm crowd to their feet.

"It's vitally important now Scotland have established this position that they go for the fourth try and bonus point. It could be crucial."

Converted try - Seymour; Laidlaw con

Scotland 31-10 Japan

Japan have possession, but they're going backwards... Harumichi Tanaka's pass is intercepted by Tommy Seymour and it's a 60m sprint to the line for Scotland's winger. Greig Laidlaw adds salt into Japanese wounds. 

Scotland 24-10 Japan

The final 15 minutes approaching and Japan have a line-out in the Scottish 22. The Brave Blossoms form a maul, but Scotland's forward create a wave of energy to push Japan back. 

Flower of Scotland ringing around Kingsholm....

Scotland 24-10 Japan

Amanaki Mafi made a vital contribution for Japan during his 45 minutes on the pitch. Eddie Jones's side aren't making the same impact in his absence. They continue to patiently recycle but aren't making the same sort of inroads as they did with their number eight. 

Amanaki Mafi
BBC

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Former England hooker.

Grossly unfair that a team who hooks the ball and takes on the temporary disadvantage of 8 v 7 sees the other team win ball by bent feeds

Scotland 24-10 Japan

Finn Russell turning defence into attack with a momentum-changing kick downfield from his own 22. Kotaro Matsushima sweeps up, but Japan are on their heels and Scotland are threatening to break loose. 

Scotland 24-10 Japan

Gavin Hastings

Former Scotland full-back on BBC Radio 5 live

"Mark Bennett was mighty close to going over the dead-ball line in scoring that try.

"I think the ball was just about down - you'd need Hawk-Eye to look at that if the referee did decide to go upstairs to the television match official."

Converted try - Bennett; Laidlaw con

Scotland 24-10 Japan

A shuffle of the hips from Stuart Hogg and he's punched a hole in Japan's defence... Scotland recycle...  centre Mark Bennett bursts through unchallenged from midfield to touchdown behind the posts. An easy conversion for Greig Laidlaw. Ruthless from Scotland. 

Mark Bennett
Reuters

Scotland 17-10 Japan

Japan's forwards inching forward one drive at a time... patience the key to the Brave Blossoms' recycling... Scotland  - who have made 111 tackles (Japan have made 76) - refusing to be moved. Japan's backs forced into action and  Ayumu Goromaru passes into touch.

Missed penalty - Goromaru

Scotland 17-10 Japan

Ayumu Goromaru's routine now a familiar one, bending the knees a la Wilkinson, but he sends his kick onto the uprights and the ball drops into Scottish hands. 

Scotland 17-10 Japan

Scotland leave the ball to bounce from the kick-off - Richie Gray jumping like a hippo on rollerskates - and that's careless as a sprinting Kotaro Matsushima gathers and gives the cherry and whites hope... 

Almost a try for Japan. But not quite. They do have a penalty for offside, however, and will opt for the three points. 

Scotland 17-10 Japan

Gavin Hastings

Former Scotland full-back on BBC Radio 5 live

"What a riposte from Scotland, absolutely terrific rugby.

"There's a magnificent atmosphere inside the stadium now, and that try was something that just had to happen from a Scottish perspective."

Try - Hardie; Laidlaw missed con

Scotland 17-10 Japan

But it's Scotland who dash forward this time and, and, and, stand by! John Hardie with a flick pass to Matt Scott before he runs into touch which keeps a patient move alive... Stuart Hogg agonisingly short of the line.. but Scotland recycle, go down the blindside and it's John Hardie who dives over. 

Greig Laidlaw fails with a tricky touchline conversion. 

Greig Laidlaw
PA

Scotland 12-7 Japan

The possession was shared absolutely evenly in that first half - the difference is that more of the match has been played in Japan's half. Scotland had the ball in more dangerous areas. 

Can Japan put that right as the second half progresses? It seems so as Eddie Jones's men have been advancing with ease in these opening minutes. 

Scotland v Japan
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