THE FRONT ROW: The Scots scrum has been dominant all tour but they will struggle against the sheer bulk Samoa can call upon.
Census Johnston plays for Toulouse, hooker Tii Paulo turns out for Clermont Auvergne and Sakaria Taulafo plays for Wasps. All three are big boys who know what they are doing.
HALF-BACK: Chris Cusiter has been brought in to sit hard on Kahn Fotuali’i who runs much of the Samoan play from nine. Greig Laidlaw’s decision-making will need to be top drawer because he is up against Tusi Pisi from the Hurricanes. The Samoans will want to set a good tempo early on, while the tourists will be happy to play a more structured set piece game until they are well inside the Samoan half.
THE WEATHER: These two teams last played in sub-zero temperatures in Aberdeen but the mercury will be some 35-40 degrees higher in Apia come kick-off. It’s a dry debilitating heat but one that will suit the Samoans far better than the Scots, some of whom looked out on their feet by half time in Fiji.
KICKERS: Samoa boast some decent goal-kickers in Pisi and Lolo Lui but neither man can match Laidlaw in front of goals. The Borderer kicked seven out of seven last Saturday.
THE BREAKDOWN: It’s a little like playing Scrabble in the midst of a train crash such is the mixture of brains, brawn and pure, raw courage needed to execute properly at the breakdown, whether in defence or attack. Samoa have promoted Ben Masoe into the starting team because he did well here off the bench against Japan. Ross Rennie does not have John Barclay to share the load so the remaining Scottish forwards (and backs) will have to be at their best.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East