Scotland under-20 head coach Kenny Murray was satisfied that his side applied “pressure and were clinical” from minute one to 80 to really put Samoa to the sword on Tuesday.

After this 123-15 rout he also believes they can get even better going forward in their men’s under-20 World Rugby Trophy campaign and has urged his players to continue to be “ruthless” over the next couple of weeks.

Earlier on Tuesday Japan had laid down the gauntlet with a 105-20 bonus point victory over Hong Kong China in Pool A at Hive Stadium.

They had won by 85 points in Edinburgh, but Scotland did even better at the same venue, running in 19 tries and kicking 14 conversions, to notch up a record score for any teamm in this second-tier event since it began back in 2008.

Scotland will now play Hong Kong China on Sunday and next Friday looks like being a ‘winner takes all’ final pool match with Japan to qualify for the final if everything keeps going to form.

Japan will play Samoa on Sunday and by next Friday the winners of the group - who will then play the Pool B toppers on July 17 for the one promotion spot - will be known.

“It’s a good start,” Murray said matter-of-factly.

“We knew the Samoans were going to be pretty physical and we wanted to start fast against them.

“We spoke a lot about not thinking back to last year - we scored 83 points against them then, but this is a new Samoan team.

“I thought the boys were excellent. Right from the start of the game we played the way we wanted to play, we applied pressure and we were clinical.

“Then at half-time we spoke about turning the screw and not letting them off and I think, in the main, we did that. There are things we need to work on, but generally it was a really good performance.”

What does Murray think his charges need to work on back at their training base in St Andrews over the coming days before game number two?

“We gave away a couple of soft tries against Samoa and our goal line defence needs to be better,” he replied.

“We defended well for long bits of the game. We were physical with some good turnovers and really good double hits, but there were a couple of soft moments and that gives us something to work on.

“In the first half I thought our kick-off reception was excellent but in the second half we gave them a couple of easy retentions at kick-off, so again we can work on that.”

And Murray hopes a bigger crowd may be at the Hive on Sunday after a result like this one.

“At the end of the day, folk are working and it’s hard to get here for a 5.15pm kick-off, but if people see some tries going in like this then hopefully that will encourage them to come and watch us in the next two games starting with Sunday,” he said after a disappointing turnout was in attendance in the shadow of Murrayfield to watch the Samoa thumping.

“One thing the players love is having fans here screaming and shouting for us - it’s a real motivation.

“We’ll now look at Hong Kong China now and make sure we treat everybody with the same respect. It’s not going to be easy on Sunday and our job is to be clinical and be ruthless and make sure we’re winning games.”

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Vice-captain Geordie Gwynn went off at half-time versus Samoa, but Murray reported it was just as a precaution due to a dead leg.

And Murray confirmed that Ben White, the Biggar loosehead prop who came on for an under-20 debut here, has replaced Callum Smyth in the wider squad with the latter nursing a neck/shoulder issue. Smyth of Glasgow Warriors could be back fit soon and remains on standby.

Meanwhile, captain Liam McConnell was pleased to get minutes into his legs after having an ankle injury since the Six Nations a few months back.

“I was just trying to get on the ball as much as possible and make yards having been out for a wee while,” the Edinburgh Rugby man said post-Samoa.

“I played 20 minutes of a warm-up game before this, but this was my first game since the Six Nations and my ankle is feeling good.

“We were trying to keep the chat high out on the pitch. On kick-off receipt I was saying to the boys just get clean exits which we did well especially in the first half when we were taking the ball on and making yards and looking to play.

“In the second half they were putting a bit more pressure on the kick-offs and we need to be a bit tidier there, but in general our intensity and being relentless was good.

“And it was good to see two of the back three get hat-tricks [winger Finlay Doyle and full-back Fergus Watson] because in the Six Nations we had to play a lot through the forwards, there was a lot of mauling and not always width.

“The backs have been looking sharp in training so it was good to see them putting things into practice and it’ll give them confidence.”

Scotland versus Hong Kong China is at 2.30pm on Sunday.