Darcy Graham insisted Scotland are ready to “go to a dark place” as they bid to defy recent history in their mouth-watering qualification shootout with Ireland in Paris.
The Scots secured the bonus-point win they required against Romania with a 12-try, 84-0 destruction of the eastern European minnows.
To progress to the last eight Gregor Townsend’s side must defeat Ireland in next Saturday’s final Pool B fixture, either with a bonus point or by denying the world’s top-ranked side a losing bonus.
The Scots have won only one of the last 13 meetings between the sides and have lost the last eight, but Graham is adamant his team – ranked fifth in the world – are ready to dig deep for what would be one of the biggest wins in their history.
“It’s winner takes all, we want to get out of the group and they want to get out of the group so both teams will be going for it,” said the prolific Scotland wing. “It’s going to be a hell of a game.
“It’s do or die now, it’s pretty much a World Cup final for us. We’ll take huge confidence from Romania and now we need to get our preparation right.
“We’re going to have to go to a dark place but the boys are up for it. It’s an exciting week. There’s going to be massive support from Scotland and Ireland fans so there’s going to be a real buzz going into this game.”
In their last meeting in the Six Nations in March, Scotland led briefly in the first half and were within a point of the Irish until Andy Farrell’s men pulled away to win 22-7 at Murrayfield.
Scotland have shown for long periods of their three matches against France this year that they can live with the top teams in the world.
“We’ve got the capabilities to beat any team in the world but we have to get things right not just for 40 minutes or 60 minutes, but for 80 minutes,” Graham said.
“We have to take our opportunities when they come. We might only get two or three opportunities and we have to nail them.”
Graham’s four-try haul against Romania elevated him from sixth to joint-second on Scotland’s all-time try-scoring list. He is now level with Ian Smith and Tony Stanger on 24 and just three shy of record-holder Stuart Hogg, who retired this year on 27.
“Yeah, I’m closing in on it but I’ll get there when I get there,” he said. “I’ve added four on to my tally so I’m happy.”
Grant Gilchrist – who captained the Scots against Romania – has no doubt his long-time Edinburgh club-mate will soon break the record.
“If I was a betting man, I’d say yes,” said the lock.
“He was outstanding against Romania. I’ve played a lot of games with him for Scotland and Edinburgh and you know exactly what you’re going to get with him week in, week out.
“Some of the tries he scored were world-class, and I’m sure he’ll keep doing that as long as he plays.”
Scotland scored six tries in each half against Romania in a match that saw them fall just five points short of their record World Cup victory, 89-0 against the Ivory Coast in 1995.
Gilchrist said: “We knew we needed five points but we needed more than that, we needed a performance that was a step forward for us as a group, and I think we got that.
“We know everybody will big up next weekend, it’s huge. Our preparation will reflect that and we’ll give absolutely everything.”