Scotland finally injected some momentum into their World Cup preparations as they followed up last week’s win over Italy with a 48-7 triumph in the Edinburgh return.
Doubles from Sean Lamont and Tim Visser combined with scores from John Barclay and Mark Bennett ensured Vern Cotter’s team gained revenge for this year’s last-gasp Six Nations defeat to the Azzurri.
But the hosts will be annoyed with themselves after Visser’s mistake allowed Michele Campagnaro to touchdown for the visitors before half-time.
That Murrayfield defeat to Jacques Brunel’s men was one of six straight losses suffered by Scotland at the start of 2015 but with less than a month to go until they face Japan in their Pool B opener, they will feel they are motoring now.
Five tries, an impressive display at the scrum and a flawless line-out in front of a record summer Test crowd of 43,831 was just what Cotter wanted to see after last week’s nervy 16-12 win in Turin.
But as much as Scotland were impressive – particularly at the scrum, where they dominated the heavyweight Italian pack – coach Cotter saw plenty of things to stop him getting carried away.
He said: “Once again, it’s a mixed bag. Two tries came from interceptions and that’s the reality of that. We have tried over 40 players and that’s our third pre-World Cup game. Some players had their first game and we weren’t particularly accurate at times.
“From our launch plays, we threw a few balls to the ground. We need to be more accurate at that. We certainly need to improve all over. The positive side of things was that we improved in certain sectors we looked at last week.
“We had more ball than last week but we will need to become more accurate once again. There were some good things and definitely things to focus on. I’m not entirely happy with everything. We’re improving but we’re not there yet.”
The head coach will now sit down with his assistants to asses the 40 remaining members of his squad and make the tough choices on which of them will make the 31-man squad he will take south to England.
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